Paper Round: Ronaldo's return to Manchester?

Cristiano Ronaldo could be set for an amazing return to Manchester, according to a report in the Daily Star.

The Portuguese winger's revelations that he is "sad" at Real Madrid and wants to leave will reportedly pave the way for Manchester City to make a £95 million bid for his services next summer.

As huge as that fee sounds, it values Ronaldo at less than a sixth of his buy-out clause: apparently a cool one billion euros.

The move would involve a huge number of players being shipped out of Eastlands to ensure City don't fall foul of the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations, with both the up-front cost and the £250,000-a-week wages to prove steep even for the English champions. The report claims that City would be happy to make whatever compromises were necessary since, "they feel the chance to sign a player of his class is too good to refuse."

City have "denied they are ready to move for Ronaldo", but the paper's sources in Spain and Portugal, "insist that their interest is real."

The Sun's angle on Ronaldo is a little different: due to tax changes in Spain he is about to see his wages effectively cut, and the striker has apparently demanded a new deal worth £500,000-a-week if he is to extend his current deal at the Bernabeu, which has three years left to run.

So would he really leave, or is the whole transfer request thing a smokescreen to squeeze more cash out of his employers? Well, if it's the latter it worked pretty well for Ronaldo's former team-mate Wayne Rooney in the past. His murmuring about a move to City at roughly this time of year two seasons ago saw the England star land a new deal worth £250,000 a week - and even prompted one or two City fans getting pre-emptive 'Rooney - City legend' tattoos.

Several papers focus on the future of Michael Owen, with the Guardian and the Daily Mail both reporting that he will definitely not be going to Liverpool. The papers come to the conclusion via different routes, however: the Guardian claims manager Brendan Rodgers has refused to countenance bringing Owen on board despite the club's need for another striker, though the Daily Mail claims Rodgers was keen but has been blocked by Reds chief John W Henry.

Several papers run long pieces based on Dimitar Berbatov's extraordinary broadside at Alex Ferguson on leaving Manchester United, with the Daily Express's headline "Fergie told me I was useless" being the most eye-catching treatment, particularly given the magnificent picture they've dug out of the Bulgarian twisting his face into a vicious scowl.

Somehow we doubt Alex Ferguson will be losing much sleep over it, and indeed it seems the Manchester United boss already has his next striker lined up: the Red Devils are considering a move for Leandro Damiao in January, according to the Daily Mail. It'll be a big one if it happens: Spurs had a £20m bid rejected, the paper claims, while Liverpool refused to take the Brazilian on loan because they believed the deal was too expensive.

And finally, Fernando Torres has definitely got his confidence back: he tells the Daily Mirror that he feels this will be the best season of his career, and that he will beat his best goal-scoring tally at Liverpool, which came in his first season when he netted 33 times in all competitions.