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Tuesday, Nov 30th

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Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo denies having signed a new contract with the Spanish club, fuelling speculation he is set to return to Manchester United.

Ronaldo’s current deal runs until 2015 but the club and president Florentino Perez are eager to tie the Portuguese down for the near future with the president even stating he wants the forward to retire at the Bernabeu.

Spanish Daily Marca had extensively reported that the 28 year old has agreed a new contract worth 17 million euros per year after tax. But Ronaldo has moved to quell any rumors of him having already signed the contract by denying that he did so.

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Cristiano Ronaldo wants more. In 199 games for Real Madrid he has scored 201 goals and now the Portuguese superstar believes that he has done enough for the club to warrant a hundred percent pay increase, especially given that the club has unabashedly displayed to the world that they have no dearth of money in the backdrop of a £100 million plus bid for Tottenham’s Welsh superstar Gareth Bale.

Ronaldo currently earns £160,000 per week, the same that Bale will earn, should he choose to become a Galactico, Ronaldo however wants to cement his place as the club’s premier superstar and has demanded wages of £320,000 a week as a precondition to start negotiations over his contract, as reported in the Mail on Sunday. In addition to a pay hike, he wants the club to be more vocal in their support for him in the FIFA World Player of the Year category as well as demanding a cut from the club’s commercial operations in Asia and America.

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Jose Mourinho was Real Madrid’s manager for 3 years before joining Chelsea, and his time at the Bernabeu was full of agony and ecstasy. It wouldn’t be erroneous to state that most of the agony came in Mourinho’s last season in charge, as Madrid didn’t win any major honors. Worse was Mourinho’s reported deterioration in relationship with many Madrid players, including talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. When Ronaldo tweeted a month back that negotiations to extend his Madrid contract beyond 2015 hadn’t made any progress, Manchester United were optimistic that their former golden boy would once again join them.

However, ‘The Special One’, new manager of rivals Chelsea, believes that Ronaldo will stay with Los Blancos this summer, with Madrid having such immense financial firepower that they are in no pressure to sell their talisman. Mourinho says that, “Real Madrid is such a rich club they don’t need to sell and it is such a rich club they can beat any offer a club can have on Ronaldo.” He goes on to add, “I know Ronaldo loves Man United and I know he loves the Premier League but I think he is going to stay.”

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“No financial restraints at Manchester United”, insisted David Moyes after United’s loss in the first preseason game in Thailand and David Moyes’ first game in charge as well.

The Scotsman was happy with the effort his players made and when further questioned if there would be some big names making the move to Old Trafford, he said, “There’s no budget here, you go get who you want to get, just go and do it”.

“We are looking at the best players. I do think it’s important that we show people we are carrying on the traditions and trying to take the club forward.”

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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has warned Wayne Rooney that he would regret leaving the club, The Guardian reports. Citing Cristiano Ronaldo’s trophy record after he left United, Ferdinand has told Rooney that United remains the best place in the world to play football.

The English defender, who retired from international football last season, intends to end his career at Old Trafford. He said: ‘I’ve had loads of offers over the years to go to other football clubs but I’ve never really wanted to go anywhere. I came to Man United for one simple reason and that was to win trophies, so I could retire and say how many trophies I’ve won and look back and say I’ve made a success of my career.’

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Roma’s director of sport, Walter Sabatini, has opened talks with United regarding the purchase of Portuguese winger Luis Nani, the Daily Express reports. Nani, who only has a year left on his contract, has shown a willingness to talk with other clubs following a breakdown in contract negotiations with United. In addition to Roma, potential suitors include Monaco, Juventus and Napoli.

The 26-year-old winger who joined United in 2007, and has since made 133 appearances for the Red Devils, has fallen out of favour at United, starting only 15 games last season for them. Comfortable playing on both wings, Nani drew comparison to former United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo for his tendency to cut inside, his skill with the ball at his feet and long-range shooting. However, a combination of selfishness in front of goal, which often leads to him conceding possession in promising situations, and a failure to make the most of the opportunities given to him, have resulted in the winger falling behind in the pecking order at United.

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Manchester United fans should brace themselves for some mixed emotions this summer. The Daily Express understands that while fan-favourite Cristiano Ronaldo making a return to Old Trafford is a distinct possibility, it could also lead to Wayne Rooney bidding the club goodbye.

According to reports, incoming Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is a long time admirer of the Englishman, and had previously too tried making a move for him during his PSG days. Meanwhile, Manchester United manager David Moyes would be making a quick return from his holidays to commence charting plans for marquee signings. The Scot would also hold talks with Rooney to try to persuade him to stay. On event of a denial, the Englishman may be offered to Los Blancos in a player plus cash swap deal to bring Ronaldo back to OT.

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