Manchester United set deadline to sign Cristiano Ronaldo after Real Madrid superstar eyes return home

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is intent on getting his business done early this summer in order to lay the foundations for a title push next season.

The Red Devils signed Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan by July 6 last year.

Paul Pogba’s summer-long transfer saga dragged on more than anybody would have liked but it was finalised just 34 days later.

Mourinho is determined to assemble his squad and welcome his targets by the start of the new season and reluctant to let business drag right up to the deadline, report the Manchester Evening News.

All of his signings made impacts on the team as they clinched a League Cup and Europa League double and Mourinho wants to achieve a similar success rate this summer.

Ronaldo was unable to shine vs Mexico

Mourinho has used the same formula this summer, having handed Woodward his list of targets back in March.

And, given how Manchester City have raced out of the blocks, spending £80m on Ederson and Bernardo SIlva, the pressure is on.

United have already completed one deal, bringing in Victor Lindelof from Benfica, and are close to signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.

Ivan Perisic expects to become a United player and Mourinho has also targeted a long-term heir for Michael Carrick – which could prove the toughest deal to get over the line.

By the time United’s well-rested squad reassemble at Carrington on July 8, Mourinho will hope Lindelof will not be the only new face.

The Portuguese has always favoured an aggressive transfer strategy, having tied up deals for Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa before Chelsea’s first pre-season game in 2014.

But Mourinho only had Asmir Begovic and Falcao to show for his efforts by the time Chelsea lined up for their title defence against Swansea more than a year later.

Ronaldo has been the subject of intense speculation

A botched move for John Stones set the tone for a desperate transfer window which culminated in the bizarre signings of Papy Djilobodji and Michael Hector.

It was one of a number of fatal oversights that summer along with Mourinho’s bold decision to trust his side with a further seven days off ahead of a tour of the U.S.

Standards were not quite what they were a year previously; Costa over-indulged in an extra week of home comforts and it soon showed.

But getting business done early does not necessarily mean a good start.

For every Ander Herrera (June 26) and David de Gea (June 29), there is a Memphis Depay (June 12) and Anderson (July 2).

And for every Dimitar Berbatov (September 1) and Wayne Rooney (August 31), there is an Angel Di Maria (August 26) and Marouane Fellaini (August 31).

In short, there is no real science behind it.

Having a full pre-season does not always mean a player will be an instant hit; Mkhitaryan did not become a regular under Mourinho until November.

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Equally, just because a player did not play a pre-season game for his new club does not mean he will need time to hit the ground running.

Di Maria was directly involved in six goals in his first five matches for United before his form dramatically tailed off as the games came thick and fast.

But now, more than ever, Mourinho will be keen to hit the ground running.

United have a favourable run of seven league games before they face a direct rival – Liverpool at Anfield on October 14.

If Mourinho again had the luxury of putting those endless rumours to bed by the time West Ham roll into town on August 12, he would be a happy man.

It could be the springboard for the start he needs to turn United into title challengers.

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