United still pursuing Ronaldo deal

Manchester United are refusing to give up on the return of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, and have assigned significant extra resources to try to make the move happen.

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The club have already been working intensively on the deal since January, having received indication at that point that the Real Madrid forward was open to heading back to Old Trafford.

The events of the past month have complicated the issue, however, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement causing Ronaldo to reconsider his options and Madrid now determined to tie the player to a new contract at all cost. The Futboleros programme on Spanish TV station La Sexta reported earlier this week that Ronaldo is on the verge of signing a new deal at the Bernabeu.

President Florentino Perez would see it as a particularly unwanted blow to the club’s prestige to lose both Jose Mourinho and Ronaldo in the same summer, regardless of the purchase of anyone like Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez, and indeed has claimed the Portuguese will retire at the Bernabeu.

United sources have made it known to ESPN that, to counter that, they have detailed two officials to exclusively work on bringing Ronaldo back. It also understood that, having initially bristled at getting involved, Nike is now willing to join fellow sponsors Chevrolet.

The Glazer family want at least one statement signing, or a few purchases of note, to accompany the official unveiling of David Moyes at the start of July.

The club are also keeping their options open in midfield, where they are specifically targeting significant reinforcements. Although there have been no firm rejections in approaches for Barcelona duo Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, there have been no changes either.

United are seeking to push ahead with a deal for PSV Eindhoven’s Kevin Strootman, especially having been made aware of Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in the midfielder. Contrary to reports, however, no terms have been agreed.