Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping for another match-winning performance against Barcelona. Reuters

The Daily Mail has become the latest publication to discuss a potential return to Manchester United for former star Cristiano Ronaldo. Speculation of a spectacular deal began when Ronaldo claimed to be unhappy with Real Madrid earlier this season and it has increased in recent weeks with the Daily Star claiming that a £55 million deal was in the works.

The Mail’s report is far more reserved, merely asserting that United are investigating the financial implications of signing Ronaldo and whether such a move would be feasible.

Like the Star, the Mail believes that Ronaldo could be available for less than the record £80 million fee that Madrid paid in 2009. In the Mail’s case, it is suggested that an offer of £60 million may be sufficient.

Some of that drop in valuation can be attributed to the fact that Ronaldo is now aged 28, but there is also the intriguing matter of his contract situation.

The Portuguese forward recently said that he will remain with Madrid until at least the end of his contract in the summer of 2015. Yet the Spanish champions are unlikely to allow Ronaldo to run down his deal and lessen his value further and even perhaps risk losing him for nothing.

The crucial time will be this summer when Madrid president Florentino Perez will be up for reelection and it has been strongly reported that he wants to have Ronaldo sign a new deal beforehand. If Ronaldo does not do so then speculation about his future will go into overdrive.

A return for Ronaldo still appears unlikely and United could instead be focusing on firming up their long-standing interest in Porto winger James Rodriguez.

According to the Daily Mail, United scouts watched the Colombia international once more on Saturday and are considering making an offer. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has joked in the past that 21-year-old would be incredibly expensive and Porto may well seek to have any suitor match Rodriguez’s £36 million release clause.

Manchester United also continue to be linked with Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The 25-year-old has long said to have been on the radars of some of Europe’s biggest clubs and with Everton falling away in the battle for a Champions League place, Fellaini could push for a move this summer.

Fellaini’s powerful presence has been a thorn in United’s side in previous matches against Everton and he could potentially add a different dimension to Ferguson’s midfield.

There promises to be plenty of competition for his signature, though, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid also interested, according to the Daily Mail.

One of United’s own stars may also be subject of a big-money bid this summer. The Times has reported that Paris Saint-Germain are strongly considering bidding for United forward Wayne Rooney. The 27-year-old is already United’s top earner on £250,000 a week, but could potentially be set to receive even more at the big-spending Ligue 1 leaders.

While Rooney remains a key figure at Old Trafford, Robin van Persie has assumed top billing this season and United could potentially consider a mammoth offer in the realization that his value is only likely to decline in the future.