London, June 17 : Spanish soccer club Real Madrid are likely to offer 50 million pounds in their first official move for ace striker Cristiano Ronaldo, that could make him the highest paid player in the world.
The Spanish giants know they face an uphill task to prise the midfielder away from Manchester United. But a delegation from Madrid will be sent, if necessary, to Manchester United to try to open negotiations.
United insisted that they do not welcome any formal contact and would reject any bid made for their star, who will surely be named the World Player of the Year in December.
The Daily Star reported that the Spanish champions have been using a media campaign to unsettle Ronaldo and turn his head. But Madrid President Ramon Calderon held an important board meeting over the weekend and decided to make a move.
Real Madrid will try and offer 40million pounds in cash and their Brazilian forward Robinho, who does interest both United and Chelsea, for Ronaldo. But that would only be the opening salvo.
The Daily Star revealed at the weekend that Big Phil Scolari has also got his eye on Robinho as one of his summer targets. But Madrid would prefer to use him as a makeweight in any Ronaldo deal.
Madrid's Sporting Director Predrag Mijatovic and their Financial Director Jose Angel Sanchez will try and contact United chief executive David Gill.
And, as has already been suggested, both are prepared to travel to England if necessary to hammer out a deal.
But Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes has spoken to Ronaldo again since Portugal's qualification for the quarterfinals of Euro 2008 and is adamant he will go.
There is no way, though, that he would not turn up for United's pre-season training if this whole saga rumbles on through the summer.
It is already well known that Madrid would give Ronaldo a five-year-deal on 180,000 pounds-a-week making him the best-paid player in the world.