Wright reports that United boss David Moyes made his move for Ronaldo two weeks ago, once Real Madrid had displayed sustained interest in the world-record capture of Gareth Bale.
New United chief executive Ed Woodward made contact with Real president Florentino Perez in the knowledge Ronaldo had yet to agree an extension to his current deal at the Bernabeu which has just two years left to run.
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.
Madrid are widely reported to be closing in on the signing of Bale from Tottenham, with the Daily Mirror anticipating a staggering £105 million fee for the Wales international.
Wright claims Madrid have intensified their pursuit of Bale since learning of Ronaldo’s desire to return to Old Trafford, where he scored 118 goals in 292 appearances en route to becoming one of the world’s best players.
The Daily Star exclusive also ties in Wayne Rooney’s mooted departure from United to Chelsea, reporting that Moyes will happily release the England international once he has confirmation Ronaldo is on his way to partner Robin van Persie.
United’s ability to fund the deal, according to Wright, is aided by Chevrolet—United’s principal sponsors come the end of the season. Ronaldo boasts a powerful global reputation which would drive Chevrolet’s image across multiple continents.
More important as far as new boss Moyes is concerned, the arrival of Ronaldo would instantly get fans on side after a frustrating transfer window to date.
United have failed with two bids for Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas, while links to Luka Modric, Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini have so far failed to come to fruition leading to question marks over the Premier League champions’ ability to attract top names.
By re-signing Ronaldo, Moyes would not only deliver the fans’ No. 1 transfer choice but also signal his immediate intention to maintain United as a European powerhouse. Ronaldo was part of the squad that won the club’s last Champions League title in 2009.