Manchester United are set to call off a £60 million deal to bring Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford in an effort to avoid upsetting Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria.
The Red Devils are keen to re-sign Ronaldo, but have no intention of meeting his astronomical wage demands. The Portugal captain is understood to want a deal worth £300,000-a-week after tax to re-join his former employers, which would make him the highest-earning player at Old Trafford.
United keen to keep stars happy
The Daily Star report that there is concern amongst Manchester United chiefs that agreeing to match Ronaldo's wage demands could upset the aforementioned star trio.
United have the financial clout to secure Ronaldo's signature - should Real Madrid opt to sell - but they are reluctant to upset their captain and two star summer signings.
United frustrated with Ronaldo?
It's also claimed, by the Daily Mail, that United are still frustrated with Ronaldo after he flirted with the Red Devils in order to gain a lucrative new contract at the Bernabeu last September.
The current holder of the Ballon d'Or, who scored his 27th career hat-trick in a 8-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, reportedly dreams of making a return to the Red Devils having achieved everything at Real Madrid.
The United fans would love to see Ronaldo back at Old Trafford, but there appear to be multiple reasons why the deal could fail to materialise.
Number 7 shirt issue
Another potentially contentious issue regards Manchester United's iconic number seven shirt. Di Maria, a former teammate of Ronaldo's, has been handed the coveted jersey - but the Portuguese superstar would presumably demand it back before putting pen-to-paper on a deal with the 20-time Premier League champions.
If United fail to sign Ronaldo, however, they run the risk of watching him join one of their Premier League rivals.
Chelsea are believed to be keen - even though manager Jose Mourinho hinted that he no longer has a good relationship with the player - while Manchester City are also keeping tabs on the situation.
Will Ronaldo stay at the Bernabeu?
These are two of a very select group of clubs who could afford to sign Ronaldo next summer. French champions Paris Saint-Germain could also finance a deal - provided they fall in line with UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules - but it's unlikely that Ronaldo would agree to join the Ligue 1 outfit.
Of course, another option is that Ronaldo stays put at the Bernabeu. He is contracted to the Bernabeu until 2018 and stands a fantastic chance of becoming the club's all-time top scorer if he sees out the remainder of his deal.
Ronaldo has scored 260 goals in 252 matches and sits behind Raul, Alfredo di Stefano and Carlos Santillana in the list of Real Madrid's record goalscorers.
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