London: Real Madrid’s world record £80 million ($131.2) bid for Cristiano Ronaldo was accepted by Manchester United (ManU) as the Spanish club’s new president stepped up his drive to attract the world’s top players.
ManU said on its website it accepted the unconditional offer for the Fifa 2008 World Player of the Year, and Real Madrid and Ronaldo can start negotiations. The move should be completed by the end of June.
The 24-year-old’s transfer would break the record fee that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez paid in his previous term when he signed Zinedine Zidane for €75.1 million (around Rs500 crore today) in 2001.
Real move: A file photo of Ronaldo celebrating victory over FC Porto in a 2009 Champions League quarter-final second leg match. Paulo Duarte / AP
Two days ago, Perez completed the signing of Kaka from AC Milan for what media reports said was €68 million, as he began his quest to rebuild a team overshadowed by archrival Barcelona last season.
At Cristiano’s request—who has again expressed his desire to leave—and after discussion with the player’s representatives, United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the player, ManU said in the statement.
Real Madrid confirmed it made an offer to buy Ronaldo and said it hoped to reach an agreement with the player in the coming days. It didn’t give any financial figures.
Club spokesman Luis Villarejo wasn’t available to comment.