Man United fight PSG, Monaco and Man City for Ronaldo
Silly money on the table as battle for Real Madrid's Portuguese superstar hots up
IT HAS been reported that Cristiano Ronaldo is selling his house in Spain and is heading for pastures new, but anyone who thinks that his return to Manchester United is a foregone conclusion should think again.
According to reports in Spanish football rag AS, United are just one of four clubs interested in signing the preening Portuguese and their rivals are three of the richest clubs in the world - Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and, you guessed it, Manchester City.
What's more, if AS is to be believed, the sums of money involved in the hunt for Ronaldo's signature are staggering. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has vowed to make sure his star man stays at the Bernabeu and boasted that he would make Ronnie the world's highest-paid player with a contract worth €15m-a-year.
But that is peanuts compared to what the Real's rivals are offering. All four of his suitors, including United, are said to be offering Ronaldo a salary of €23m a year, plus a signing on fee of €60m and control of his image rights.
French paper L'Equipe offers some kind of confirmation, saying that PSG are definitely interested, but it says they are offering a rather less lavish salary of just €18m a year.
Tribal Football also carries the story and explains that the billionaire backers of City, PSG and Monaco are bank-rolling their offers, while Man United have the financial support of sponsors Aon, who, if successful, get to sign Ronnie as a global ambassador for whatever it is they do.
Elsewhere, Metro reports that David Pizarro is set for a shock return to Manchester City - "according to his uncle Aurelio Cortez".
Pizarro turned out five times for the Sky Blues in 2012 while on loan from Roma before spending last season at Fiorentina. But the Metro claims that incoming City boss Manuel Pellegrini has set his sights on the 33-year-old midfielder and uncle Aurelio is clearly so excited he can't keep the news under his hat.
"David's next club will be Manchester City," blabbed Cortez. "That's because of the influence of Pellegrini." Apparently Roma were also tracking the veteran playmaker but the Metro says he's determined to give the Premier League another crack.
Finally, Talksport reports that Lokomotiv Moscow are eyeing up Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote. The Ivory Coast international "is high on the Russian club's agenda" as they look to challenge for a place in the Champions League next season. It's believed that the Magpies' boss, Alan Pardew, is prepared to wave goodbye to the 26-year-old Tiote if Lokomotiv come in with an offer in the region of £8m.