Cristiano Ronaldo has confided to friends that he is prepared to do “whatever it takes” to engineer a transfer to Real Madrid this summer. Manchester United maintain that they will not sell their most prized asset under any circumstances, but Ronaldo is dismissive of his club’s views and regards his planned world-record transfer to Real as an inevitability.

Ronaldo appeared almost ambivalent about his future when, in a statement on June 4, he suggested that he would be happy to stay at United if no fee was agreed with Real, but the depth of his determination to leave Old Trafford is now becoming clear.

A source close to the player said last night that he had made clear he would do everything in his power to persuade United to sell. That could mean anything from submitting a formal transfer request to refusing to report for pre-season training, but his next step will be to issue a further statement, outlining his intentions, as soon as Portugal’s participation in the European Championship finals is over.

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