By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Manchester United will offer a staggering £400,000-a-week contract in a bid to entice Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid next summer, Football Insider sources understand.
United are ready to make the Portugese mega-star their top earner with a £20million-a-year-contract as well as pay Real a world-record fee of £120million.
The total package the Premier League big spenders are prepared to pay to re-sign Ronaldo is worth £200million over the course of the four-year contract they are preparing.
[nextpage title=”Next page”]
Football Insider understands United have held preliminary discussions with Ronaldo’s camp to ascertain his interest in making a sensational return to Old Trafford.
The reigning World Player of the Year will have only two years remaining on his Real contract at the end of the season and there is genuine hope from the English club that he could be open to leaving the Bernabeu.
Although Ronaldo’s influential agent Jorge Mendes has talked down the possibility of the player leaving Madrid, the player himself has left the door ajar with his public comments.
Speaking to promote his new biopic Ronaldo, which is released tomorrow, the Portugese said: “As I say many times, the future, nobody knows. This moment, I am glad and happy at Real Madrid but in the future, nobody knows.”
The money involved in United’s Ronaldo bid demonstrates how far the club are willing to go to given Louis Van Gaal a squad that can battle for the biggest trophies.
The Premier League club told investors last month that club revenues are expected to break the £500million-barrier this season, with their lucrative return to Champions League competition coinciding with the first year of their world-record kit sponsorship deal with Chevrolet.
United’s top earners are currently skipper Wayne Rooney and Bastian Schweinsteiger, with both on a basic salary of £250,000-a-week.
But the Premier League club are ready to go much further to bring Ronaldo back from Spain and offer a package that exceeds those offered to the likes of Thomas Muller and Sergio Ramos during the summer.
Ronaldo is regarded by the Old Trafford hierarchy as a genuine United target who can elevate the team.
He turns 31 next February but there is little evidence of any drop in his performance levels, while his vast marketing potential is such that any deal also makes sound economic sense.