Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo remains highly regarded in Manchester amid speculation regarding his Real Madrid future Getty Images

Manchester United's attempts to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo are "difficult" and "complicated" according to playmaker Juan Mata. Reports have suggested that Real Madrid are preparing to drop their valuation of the two-time Ballon d'Or winner, paving the way for his departure.

Real president Florentino Perez told Cope in September that Ronaldo would not be sold for anything below his €1bn [£725m, $1.101bn] release clause. However, The Sun understands that the Spanish giants would accept an offer closer to the £80m they paid for him in 2009. The Portugal international remains a firm favourite at Old Trafford after spending six years at the club, during which time he won nine major honours including the Champions League.

Despite those recent reports, there is little evidence either Real or United are ready to agree on a deal for Ronaldo – particularly given the two clubs' relationship since the falling through of David de Gea's move to the Bernabeu in the summer window. Winger Mata also believes that Ronaldo's status in the Spanish capital means a move back to the Premier League is difficult to foresee.

"I think it's difficult for that to happen," Mata told "The respect and admiration that the people have for Cristiano [at Manchester United] is incredible. You see it at the training ground, at the stadium, with so many photos of when he won all those titles there and did so well on a personal level as well.

"But it's complicated with him at a club like Real Madrid and happy there, which I think he is. He is a player who makes the difference in any league, obviously. But as it's very complicated at the moment, I prefer to focus on the players who are here, on playing well and achieving the club's objectives."