Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal terms for a move to Real Madrid were agreed ‘a long time ago’, according to a senior Manchester United source. Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is now understood to have finalised all the key details with executives from the Spanish club.

‘They have been talking for at least two months,’ the source told Observer Sport last night, ‘and it was all agreed with Real Madrid weeks ago. All this chat from [Real president] Ramón Calderón that he does not want to upset Manchester United, and Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be bought because he belongs to another club, is absolute rubbish. Discussions have gone way beyond the point of no return. Sir Alex Ferguson knows this now so you can imagine how it has gone down.’

This explains United’s decision to lodge a formal complaint with Fifa, claiming that Ronaldo has been tapped up; a threat that, although announced occasionally by clubs, is rarely acted upon. Last week a national newspaper also published a photograph of Ronaldo meeting a Real official in January in Rome, the club’s fitness instructor, Walter Di Salvo, who left Old Trafford for the Bernabéu.


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