Manchester United have accepted a world-record bid of £80m (€94m) from Real Madrid for winger Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Premier League winners expecting to conclude a deal this month.
Madrid signed Kaká for €68m from AC Milan on Tuesday and have followed that with a larger offer for the 24-year-old Portuguese international. A statement on the United website read: “Manchester United have received a world-record, unconditional offer of £80million for Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. At Cristiano’s request – who has again expressed his desire to leave – and after discussion with the player’s representatives, United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the player. Matters are expected to be concluded by 30 June.”
Ronaldo joined United from Sporting Clube de Portugal in the summer of 2003 and has enjoyed sustained success during his time at Old Trafford. He scored in United’s UEFA Champions League final triumph over Chelsea FC in 2008 and helped the club return to the showpiece in Rome last month where they lost to FC Barcelona. The Ballon d’Or winner last year, Ronaldo scored 118 times in 291 appearances for United and his 84 Premier League goals led the club to a hat-trick of titles between 2007 and 2009. A €94m transfer fee for Ronaldo, who has been capped 65 times by Portugal, would be largest ever, eclipsing the €73m Madrid paid Juventus in 2001 for Zinédine Zidane.
Ronaldo has long been linked with a move to Madrid who – following a disappointing season where rivals Barcelona claimed a UEFA Champions League, Liga and Copa del Rey treble – have moved quickly to strengthen their squad since the return of Florentino Pérez as club president. Manuel Pellegrini was installed as coach on 2 June with the deal on Kaká concluded within a week.