Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled his side out of the race for Real Madrid wantaway Cristiano Ronaldo. The news could be a boost for Manchester United as the decision of the Bundesliga giants leaves the path to the Ballon d'Or's potential return to Old Trafford a little clearer.
Ronaldo is expected to become the subject of a big summer auction after it last week emerged he wants to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Real Madrid star has just celebrated a Champions League and La Liga double but sources have told IBTimes UK that he wants to move somewhere else during the summer transfer window after being left "outraged" by allegations that he has knowingly failed to pay up to £13m in taxes to the Spanish authorities.
The Telegraph later reported that Los Blancos would demand a world record bid of €150m (£131.4m, $168.2) to part ways with the Ballon d'Or even though he will turn 33 in February.
Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich have since been the three European clubs linked with his services as they appear to be the only ones who can afford to make such an investment.
A move to China or the MLS have also been mentioned in recent days but some reports suggest that Ronaldo considers that it is still too soon to leave Europe – and the Champions League.
All signs would now suggest it could be left to a duel between Manchester United and PSG after Bayern ruled themselves out of the race.
"We're used to being the subject of intense transfer speculation during transfer windows. Normally we don't comment on rumours, but in this case, we would like to make our position on Cristiano Ronaldo absolutely clear: This rumour is completely unfounded and must be consigned to the realms of fantasy," Bayern's Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said to the club official website.