MANCHESTER — Manchester United face an almighty battle to land Cristiano Ronaldo.
The English Premier League champions hope to sign the world football superstar for £65 million — and complete the biggest transfer in British football history.
United want to unveil Ronaldo on August 8 and then play him in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial against Sevilla the day after.
But Ronaldo himself last night delivered Old Trafford chiefs a blow, insisting he has still not ruled out a new deal with Real Madrid.
He said: “I’m calm. I’m not worried about it, I know we are going to reach an agreement to sign a new deal and for that if I am honest, I’m not preoccupied about it.”
Ronaldo’s representatives have reportedly demanded around £35m a year gross wages plus all his image rights.
As it stands, Madrid are offering around £30m a year and the same 60%-40% split on his image rights worth in excess of £20m a year.
United’s plan is to pay Ronaldo, 28, a basic salary in excess of £300 000 a week to make him the highest-paid player in English football.
It is understood “informal” meetings between third parties have been going on for over a year.