Ronaldo is on his way to Man Utd…on Mum’s orders

Family man - Ronaldo with his mother and son

Family man – Ronaldo with his mother and son

Cristiano Ronaldo looks increasingly likely to leave Real Madrid next summer – and his Mum is reportedly keen for him to make a return to Manchester United.

The Daily Mirror are among those reporting that his doting mother Dolores is concerned by reports that Paris Saint-Germain are favourites to sign her son if he does decide to bring down the curtain on his time in the Spanish capital.

Amid suggestions that she is not keen on her son moving his family to the French capital following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Dolores is urging her boy to complete an emotional return to Old Trafford.

It is hard to know whether the suggestion that Mrs Ronaldo is driving her beloved boy back to Manchester is accurate, but it seems increasingly evident that a battle is likely to ensue between United and PSG for the reigning World Footballer of the Year next summer.

At the age of 30, any club buying Ronaldo would appreciate that they are unlikely to see a return on their investment in terms of a resale, but the commercial opportunities from shirt sales and merchandise could off-set some of the transfer fee that would need to be paid.

This story is set to run and run over the next few months, with Ronaldo's next destination certain to be one of the hottest sporting talking points of 2016.

Liverpool top the Premier League for money spent on agents



Premier League clubs paid out nearly £130million to agents last year – a £15million increase on the year before.

Liverpool spent the most of any club, £14.3million, followed by Manchester United (£13.8m) and Manchester City (£12.4m) with the total reaching £129.86million for the year ending September 30. Chelsea and Arsenal both spent £11.9million while at the other end of the scale newcomers Watford spent £1.6million.

The total spent in the Championship was £26.1million, £3.2million in League One and just £1million in League Two.

Fees are not just paid to agents when transfers happen, but also when players sign new contracts.

During the period in question, there were 172 inbound transfers and loans in the Premier League, 542 new or improved contracts and 573 outbound transfers and loans – a total of 1,287 transactions, all of which could have led to an agent's fee being paid.

The biggest payers in the Championship were Cardiff (£2.8m), Fulham (£2.7m), QPR and Reading (both £2.3m).

Further down the pyramid, League One club Bury and League Two's Accrington Stanley Hartlepool did not pay anything at all in to agents.

Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo up for the Ballon d’Or

Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi are up for the award

Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi are up for the award

Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo have been shortlisted for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

The prize is the most prestigious individual player award in the game and the three were chosen from a longer list of 23 names which also included Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.

The winner will be revealed at a gala ceremony in Zurich on January 11.

Ronaldo has won three Ballon d'Or awards, including for the past two years.

Messi also has four, which came consecutively from 2009 to 2012.

The Argentina forward helped Barcelona win the treble last season, and is odds-on favourite to make it Ballon d'Or number five in 2016.

Ronaldo certainly feels no reason to expect an upset.

"To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes," the former Manchester United forward said earlier this month.

"You win competitions, you win the Champions League you win the league in terms of individual. I did probably the best season of my career which is good and I was the highest scorer in Europe [but] it's all about votes.

"It is difficult and to be honest I am not very worried about that because as I said many times, I never thought I would win three times to be honest."

At 23, Neymar is the youngest of the finalists.

The Brazil forward netted twice as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in the Premiera Division on Saturday, and afterwards spoke of his pride at being included among the contenders.

"I have never played football to be the best player in the world, or to win the Ballon d'Or. I've always just played with the idea of continually getting better, to always surpass my goals, to always be better, play better, train better," he said.

"To be the best in the world is the direct result of all of this work. If today I am being spoken of in such terms, it is a clear sign that what I am doing is working."