Real Madrid have a long-term plan to turn Cristiano Ronaldo into the best centre-forward in the world and believe selling him that vision could be the trump card in stopping his much-rumoured return to Manchester United.
Ronaldo has almost exclusively operated as a winger during his stellar career, but will turn 30 next January and may at some point have to accept that a slight drop in pace and power is only natural.
Madrid think Ronaldo has the physical and technical gifts to make the successful transition to a strike role, with Marca reporting that the Portuguese superstar is on board with his club's plan and is ready to change position if that's what it takes to stay at the very highest level.
It almost doesn't matter that Ronaldo has been at pains to insist that he's very happy with life at the Bernabeu, the emotional bond he has with United and their supporters mean rumours of a return which could cost the Red Devils a whopping £200m are never far from the surface.
United have proved this summer they have the financial resources to turn a dream transfer for their supporters into a reality, after spending a club-record £150m on the likes of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Ander Herrera.
Los Blancos are acutely aware that their prized asset is being openly courted elsewhere, but clearly have a plan to make CR7 goes on to become the planer's premier number nine in Spain not the Premier League.
No question over ability to make the transition
Ronaldo has always been utterly prolific and has the height, stature and predatory instinct to operate as a target man in attack, with his spring in the air making him a winger's dream in terms of providing ammunition from the flanks.
Madrid's key man already has a quite staggering return of nine goals from just four matches in La Liga this season, including hauls of three and four in his last two games respectively.
Carlo Ancelott's side are prepared to make concessions to ensure Ronaldo spends the rest of his career in the Spanish capital, even if it could potentially means showing Karim Benzema the exit door.
Real chief Florentino Perez believes Ronaldo will make the change despite his frosty relationship with Madrid's linchpin over the sales of Di Maria and Mesut Ozil, a switch which if made quickly could scupper United's hopes of a blockbuster transfer next summer.
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