LONDON — Manchester United accepted a world-record transfer offer for Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid on Thursday, clearing the World Player of the Year to negotiate personal terms with the Spanish club.
The Premier League champions received an unconditional offer of 80 million pounds (C$145.2 million) for Ronaldo, and unlike in the last off-season manager Sir Alex Ferguson told the Glazer family which owns the club that he is willing to see his 24-year-old star performer join a major European rival.
“At Cristiano’s request — who has again expressed his desire to leave — and after discussion with the player’s representatives, United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the player,” Manchester United said.
“Matters are expected to be concluded by 30 June.”
Madrid confirmed the offer for Ronaldo in a statement, saying: “The club hopes to reach an agreement with the player in the coming days.”
The Portugal winger, who joined from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, spent last June pushing for what he called at the time a “dream move” to Madrid.
But it is understood that the profits will not be used to service United’s debts, which have ballooned to almost $1 billion.
Ronaldo, who was under contract to United until 2012, plunged his future into doubt after losing the Champions League final to Barcelona last month, saying he wasn’t sure if would stay next season. This was despite having vowed to stay at United in the buildup to the match.