The Independent says while United accept that they cannot compete this summer with the likely £85m bid from Monaco – a tax-free principality where he can become the world’s richest player – or Paris Saint Germain, the player is being advised that if he waits until he is out of contract in June 2015, he will be able to secure a colossal signing on-fee and substantial wages which would add up to a 140m euros (£118m) welcome home package .
The big cash offer plus tax-protected wages this summer would make Monaco favourites among the few clubs capable of signing the Portuguese. But sources close to the player suggest that he is unlikely to be tempted by the newly promoted Ligue 1 side because of the consequences to his career of forfeiting at least a season of Champions League football.
That leaves United as a strong contender when the player’s contract expires. What they save on not having to pay Madrid for his transfer now they could plough into a 60m euros signing on fee and 20m euros (£16.9m) a year take home pay across four years with 100 percent of his image rights – currently shared 60-40 in his favour with Real Madrid.