The gossip wires are humming red hot with the news that Manchester United are willing to provide a genre-redefining transfer package to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo next summer.
It’s understood that Real Madrid could be ready to cash in on the reigning Ballon d’Or holder next summer, with bwin going 11/5 about Old Trafford housing him on 2 September, 2015.
Much of the focus of reporting so far has been on the mind-bending financial dimensions of any proposed deal.
According to the Daily Star, United are the only one of Europe’s footballing aristocracy who have not deemed the acquisition of CR7 too expensive an undertaking.
A fee of around the £80m mark would secure his signature, but over four seasons projected wages of around £20m a year would double the cost of the deal.
That’s before sundry bonuses and image rights-related payments are even factored into the equation.
Yet for all acquiring Ronaldo would prove a new level of extravagance for the Red Devils, it would arguably be worth it if the following selection of statistical nuggets from his Los Blancos period are anything to go by…
* Ronaldo has made no tackles, no interceptions and no clearances across five La Liga and Champions League games so far in 2014/15, he has however scored ten goals.
* Since arriving at Santiago Bernabeu the man from Madeira has helped himself to 264 strikes in 254 games.
* Despite this barnstorming total the Sporting Lisbon youth graduate has also set up 84 goals for teammates during the aforementioned period.
* As a result Ronaldo has played a direct role in the scoring of no fewer than 338 times for the Los Merengues
* One described as “fit as flea” by Ian Holloway, CR7 has played at least 47 times for Real in each of the last four campaigns, going without a serious injury concern for two seasons between the beginning of 2011/12 and the end of 2013/14.