Manchester United have put a two year contract offer on the table for Cristiano Ronaldo, according to a report from Italy.
Ronaldo is entering the final year of his contract at Juventus and is reportedly looking to move this summer.
A return to Old Trafford has been mooted and whilst many believe it is just speculation, 42-year-old quarter back Tom Brady’s acquisition for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by the Glazer family, who are also controlling shareholders of United, clearly demonstrates that they can see the advantages of acquiring the best in the world, even when past their prime.
And according to Gazzetta dello Sport, as the 36-year-old considers his options, United have already made their move, offering a two-year deal worth €20 million per annum (£17.2m per annum or £330,000 per week).
‘In fact, an offer for a two-year deal worth 20 million net per season has come from Manchester,’ Gazzetta reports.
‘With this in mind, Juve could have a good exchange with Paul Pogba, who is also on his way out of the English club.
‘But the plot has not progressed: everyone wants to wait a little. United themselves, for example, are pushing Borussia Dortmund for Sancho and can close the game with satisfaction.
‘Meanwhile, Cristiano believes he can have a salary equal to the current one: 31 million euros [£26.7m or £513,000 pw]. So he is taking his time, but he is gladly keeping one foot in this shoe.’
There is much in Gazzetta’s claims to unravel. First, the offer of £330,000 per week for two years sounds about right from United’s point of view. It seems unlikely that anyone will offer him much more than that at this stage – certainly not in Europe.
On the other hand it is probably not enough to tempt the Portuguese star if the decision is to be purely a financial one. Ronaldo could stay at Juve on the much higher £513,000 per week salary for another year and then negotiate something lower elsewhere and still be better off.
But perhaps the lure of returning to Old Trafford and the Premier League will be enough to compensate for the financial sacrifice.
Another issue, as Gazzetta suggests, is whether the offer remains on the table should United sign Sancho. This could also depend on whether Pogba does leave; if Juve were to offer Ronaldo plus cash for the Frenchman, United could be in a position to take on both Sancho and Cristiano.
That would be a scenario that would certainly excite Manchester United fans for the coming season and also, from the Glazers’ point of view, would be a tremendous pull for potential sponsors.