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The Daily Star’s Duncan Wright reports...
United on the brink of Ronaldo reunion
United and Real Madrid have spent the past 12 days negotiating an £80m package – and the Premier League champions are increasingly confident of getting their man. David Moyes made his move two weeks ago when the club heard through the grapevine Madrid had stepped up their interest in signing Gareth Bale. And for the first time they found their Spanish rivals prepared to negotiate after the player told them he would be interested in returning to England. New United chief executive Ed Woodward made contact with Real president Florentino Perez in the knowledge Ronaldo had yet to agree and extension to his current deal at the Bernabau which has just two years left to run. “United and Real Madrid have spent the past 12 days negotiating an £80m package for Ronaldo” Starsport understands Perez then sought assurances Ronaldo would commit to the new deal – and was stunned to learn he was keen on returning to Manchester instead. That forced them to open up to United’s advances, knowing they would only get a fraction of the fee for one of the world’s best players if he stayed another season. It also explains why they are prepared to break the world record to ensure they clinch the signing of Bale in an effort to appease fans worried by Ronaldo’s departure.
In the Daily Mail, Rio Ferdinand admits his starting place at United is under threat from the club’s youngsters – but it is a challenge he is determined to overcome. “It was the same last season,” he said. “There is a great history and it is part of the club with young players coming through and establishing themselves and I am all for that, but I want to play games. I want to play for Man United and the young lads are going to have to fight to get in the team just like I did when I was a kid.”
Elsewhere, the Mirror claims United have apologised to Everton for the way David Moyes was appointed Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial successor at Old Trafford.