Real Madrid's failed move for Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo is said to have been caused by the bank.

The Guardian says Real Madrid's reliance on bank funding is said to have been behind their inability to close a deal for Ronaldo last season as Santander withdrew the offer to finance the deal.

The Spanish bank is said by financial sources to have got cold feet over backing Madrid's payment of a world-record transfer fee at a time when it was repossessing homes throughout Spain. If the talk is true and the same stance is taken this summer, then the extravagant plans of the returning Florentino Pérez may be harder to carry through.