Manchester United have been impressive both on and off the field, since Jose Mourinho's arrival at Old Trafford this summer. The Red Devils' strong start to the campaign has largely been down to their movements in the transfer market.
World-record signing Paul Pogba has returned to the club where it all began for him as a kid, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have also been Mourinho's other high-profile signings.
But despite the Red Devils' willingness to spend big in the transfer window, it seems their financial power will not be enough to lure two of their biggest targets to Manchester any time soon, with the club ending their interest in two of Real Madrid's key men.
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According to The Mirror, Manchester United have ended their pursuit of their former forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Wales international Gareth Bale, with both players set to sign new long-term deals at Real.
United's interest in the attacking duo has also not been helped by FIFA's decision to ban Real Madrid from signing players until January 2018. However, the Red Devils attempts to lure the Real stars away from the Santiago Bernabeu had always been considered audacious.
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Ronaldo admitted upon his return to Los Blancos' starting XI against Osasuna at the weekend that he hopes to retire at Real Madrid, blowing any speculation of a return to United out of the water. And his desire to remain in Madrid looks all but certain, with Bale also set to sign fresh terms.
Reds monitor duo
The Red Devils have been monitoring the Real duo for some time; having asked the Spanish giants to keep them informed with any updates on the players' respective futures. But news from within the Bernabeu seems to suggest both Ronaldo and Bale will sign new deals in the coming months.
Following Real's 5-2 win on Saturday, Ronaldo admitted: “Right now, [retiring at the club] is all I see in my future. It’s what I want most."
Meanwhile, Los Blancos see Bale as part of their long-term future, when Ronaldo does eventually either retire or leave the club for a move, most likely, to the MLS.
Mourinho has alternative options
But despite United's hopes of bringing Ronaldo and Bale back to the Premier League all but over, Mourinho will not be too concerned, considering the form of his current crop of forwards.
Ibrahimovic has netted in all but one league game so far this season, making it four goals in four games. While Marcus Rashford is forcing his way into contention for a place in United's starting XI, having scored a late winner away to Hull City, last month.
Who should Manchester United consider as alternatives to Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo? Have your say in the comment box below.