Everton Ribeiro
Everton Ribeiro [Reuters] Reuters

Manchester United have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of signing Cruzeiro star Everton Ribeiro after the midfielder admitted that he would reject a chance to join Real Madrid in order to make an Old Trafford switch.

The 24-year-old has been a January transfer target for United manager David Moyes and the Brazilian had earlier expressed his desire to join the Premier League champions. Ribeiro played a key role in helping Cruzeiro to win the Brasileiro league title this season.

The midfielder's brilliant performance has seen him being named the Brazilian player of the year. Speaking to the Brazilian website Globoesporte, Ribeiro said that he would turn down a chance to move to Santiago Bernabeu in order to join the Old Trafford outfit.

"Yes I would like it more. The structure they have there is one of the best in the world. There were more than five pitches on the training ground, I was impressed. I have already visited for a lecture with Sir Alex Ferguson," Ribeiro explained.

The Brazilian is likely to join United in the winter transfer window. His agent Robson Ferreira has already held talks with United officials over a possible future transfer and the former Everton manager is impressed with Ribeiro's form for Cruzeiro.

"Manchester United want him. David Moyes has been impressed. I've already been to England and talked personally with them. In United's opinion, he is the complete midfielder," Ferreira said.

Meanwhile, Moyes has hailed Wayne Rooney's leadership skills for the English champions after admitting that the England international is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest legends at Old Trafford.

Rooney made two assists during United's 3-1 home win over West Ham United and is currently leading the assist chart ahead of Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.

"Do you know what I see more than anything in Wayne? I see leadership. I see somebody who wants to take responsibility for the team. I see somebody who cares for how he plays and how the team plays," Moyes told United's official website.

"More than anything that is what I see from Wayne. He is one of the senior men in the team. He is actually on the verge of being one of the great legends at this club."