Manchester United officials believe it will be ‘impossible’ to strike a deal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid this summer, a source at the club has told Yahoo Sport UK.
Ronaldo has reportedly told Real Madrid that he wants to leave Spain after it was confirmed last week that he will face tax fraud charges in the country over a disputed bill of £13m from overseas income that was put through a bank in the British Virgin Islands.
Reports on Sunday suggested Ronaldo had urged his agent Jorge Mendes to do all he could to set up a return to United, yet Old Trafford chiefs are not expecting to welcome the Portuguese superstar back to Manchester in the coming weeks.
The €1 billion release clause in his Real Madrid contract is just one of the stumbling blocks over any potential deal, with United insiders telling us that Ronaldo is ‘not currently one of the players they are considering’ in their summer transfer plans.
Spending a vast sum to sign the 32-year-old sold to Real Madrid for a world record £80m in the summer of 2009 would be something of a gamble in a summer when United manager Jose Mourinho is looking to add a host of key targets to his squad ahead of the club’s return to the Champions League next season.
After Antoine Griezmann turned down a move to United in favour of staying at Atletico Madrid, Mourinho is hoping the club finalise moves for Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata and Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic in the coming days.
Mourinho has already added Benfica defender Victor Lindelof to his squad after a £30.7m move last week, with one more high profile signing expected if the Morata and Perisic deals are successfully concluded.
While United’s transfer guru Ed Woodward has tried and failed in previous attempts to lure Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, the club’s lack of enthusiasm amid the fresh round of links with their former No.7 suggest a deal is unlikely.
Meanwhile, United are still insisting they are not anticipating keeper David De Gea to leave the club this summer, amid reports in UK newspapers that a possible deal for Ronaldo could see the Spanish keeper move to Real Madrid as part of the deal.
United now expect De Gea to remain at Old Trafford for next season, despite suggestions that the stopper told manager Mourinho he wanted to leave at the back end of last season.