Manchester United have finally had their own head turned in the developing transfer saga between Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus, according to reports.

The MEN reports that Ed Woodward – who has been keen to add a ‘marquee’ signing for years – has enquired regarding Ronaldo’s availability, having previously believed the speculation was just another ruse on the way to the player getting a new contract in Spain.

However, it appears that the Italian club’s interest is serious. They have offered £88m and are prepared to break the bank to secure the signature of the best player of the world. There has been talk that an announcement regarding the transfer would be imminent and this has prompted Woodward to make an enquiry.

He was apparently told that the negotiations are serious and at an advanced stage.

Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, has poured oil on the fire, as of course he might.

“If he leaves, it will be a new challenge for him,” Mendes said. “Should Cristiano leave Real Madrid he will be eternally grateful to the club, to the president, to the entire front office, the medical team and all the staff, without exception, as well as all the fans all around the world.”

It remains to be seen whether the information Woodward received was enough to dissuade him from making a bid of his own or if it will indeed provoke United into making a record offer of their own.