Manchester United banking on emotional ties to bring back Cristiano Ronaldo...

...and will adopt softer stance than Ferguson towards Rooney in an effort to keep him at club

Manchester United are adamant that they will not let Wayne Rooney leave this summer and are harbouring hopes that the emotional pull of Old Trafford may be enough to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to return to the club to partner him.

The Premier League champions believe that Ronaldo is desperate to leave Real Madrid and, though they accept that they will be unable to compete financially with Monaco or Paris Saint-Germain in a pursuit of the player, they believe that his emotional ties to Old Trafford could be decisive. Bringing Ronaldo back, four years after his departure, would be a huge statement of intent from the Glazer family and, at a stroke, dispel any sense that they have sought the cheap option by replacing Sir Alex Ferguson with David Moyes. Bestowing Ronaldo on Moyes would underline their belief in him.

United must overcome supreme  obstacles if they are to re-sign Ronaldo. The Independent revealed this week that Monaco are ready to make a world record €100m (£85m) bid for the 28-year-old and pay him an annual salary of €20m, or £330,000 per week. In the principality of Monaco, which does not charge its residents income tax, Ronaldo would become the highest-paid footballer in the world – a label which has always appealed to him. A bid of perhaps £70m may be as close as United can get to Monaco, as they seek to develop while retaining profitability.

Madrid president Florentino Perez’s own ego may create another impediment. For an individual who likes to think he can assemble the world’s best players, there would be loss of face in Ronaldo leaving in the summer when Neymar selected Barcelona over Real. Replacing Ronaldo with Gareth Bale might actually seem like a comedown to him and his club’s fans.

But Ronaldo is clearly deeply irritated with Perez’s claim that he will stay at Real and if playing a higher level of football than the French League proves to be a more motivating factor than money, United could be in business. Despite telling his United team-mates for his last two years at Old Trafford that he hated the climate and wanted the Spanish sun, the security and stability which the club provided are something he has not found since. There is little doubt that if he were to decide to return to the Premier League, United would be the club he chooses.

United’s efforts to keep a motivated Rooney at Old Trafford are likely to include Moyes and the new chief executive, Ed Woodward, issuing positive messages about him. Ferguson’s parting shot to Rooney was his declaration, after omitting him from the club’s last home game against Swansea City, that he “was not keen to play because he has asked for transfer”.

Rooney feels this was an exaggeration of what he told Ferguson when he walked into his office, in late April, and said he thought his future might lie elsewhere. With Rooney’s decision on his own future likely to be influenced by the reception he gets from supporters when the club return from their pre-season tour – United will face Sevilla at Old Trafford on Friday 9 August in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial match – Moyes and Woodward are likely to attempt to soften Ferguson’s representation of the April meeting.

Though the need for a Rooney contract renewal – his current deal has only two years to run from this summer – has been cited as an impediment to him staying at United, the champions may well be prepared to allow the deal to head towards its final year and see how he develops under Moyes.

Senior players – and particularly Ryan Giggs, with whom the striker has a good relationship – are seen as important in the task of persuading Rooney to stay. Ronaldo’s return may make that irresistible.

Click HERE to see Ronaldo's record and greatest goals

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own