Man City plan world-record bid for Ronaldo
Published 23:02 17/05/11 By Neil McLeman - EXCLUSIVE
Manchester City are ready to smash the world transfer record to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to the Premier League.
Roberto Mancini's men joined European football's elite last week by qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.
Now City want the Portuguese superstar to spearhead their bid to win the trophy next season.
Ronaldo, 26, moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United in a record £80million move in 2009 and signed a six-year contract worth over £100m.
Under Jose Mourinho this season, he has equalled the goals record in a La Liga campaign - 38 - and still has a game to go.
The Spanish giants have inserted a US$1billion buyout clause in his contract to protect their prize asset.
Mancini said after City's FA Cup Final triumph on Saturday that he wanted players of proven Champions League experience to take the club to the next level.
Ronaldo would also prove a high-profile replacement for another ex-Manchester United star, Carlos Tevez, should the Argentine decide to leave .
Earlier this month, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp said of City: "They're probably going to spend another £200million this summer.
"They tell me they've got one or two players signed already who'll blow your brains out. They're not going to stop until they win the championship, then the Champions League, and I can see them doing it."
Despite complaining about Mourinho's negative tactics during the Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona, Ronaldo has enjoyed a super season in Madrid.
He has scored five goals in his last two games to take his total in all competitions to 51 this season, including the winner in the Copa del Rey final, to overtake Ferenc Puskas' record.
Ronaldo can set a new La Liga record by scoring against relegated Almeria this weekend.
"He is a decisive and influential player," said Real captain Iker Casillas. "Very few are capable of putting up the numbers he has. There are no more team titles that we can win this year, but we can help him win an individual award.
"We feel it is important for him to win an award when he is so deserving of it. He is one of the best players in the world."