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Ronaldo Out, Ribery In? 罗纳尔多让位里贝里?

Franck Ribery
Could Ribery become the world's most expensive player?
Manchester United have made an offer 主动出价 for Bayern Munich player Franck Ribery which would smash the world transfer record 破世界转会纪录, according to reports in UK newspaper The Guardian.

They say United have offered a staggering £62.5m (643m yuan) for the French international midfielder, a figure which would comfortably exceed the current world record of £44m (452m yuan) paid by Real Madrid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.

Sources 消息人士 at The Guardian say the offer was made after Manchester United scouts repeatedly watched Ribery in action 观察里贝里在球场上的表现.

But a record-shattering deal 创纪录的合同 would only be likely if Manchester United were to sell their star asset 星级人物 Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, for a similar or even higher amount, especially as United already have a reported £700m (7.2bn yuan) of debt.

So just who is Franck Ribery?

An industrious 勤奋的 midfielder who also scores regularly, Ribery is known for his fast pace and ability to run defenders ragged 制人(后卫)于死地的, earning him the description "an anarchist 原意是无政府主义者,此处指赛场上无拘无束、自由豪放 on the pitch" in the German press.

During a spell playing for Turkish side Galatasary, he gained the affectionate nickname Ferraribery (Ferrari + Ribery) from fans there because of his swift acceleration 提速快.

And his form for reigning German champions Bayern Munich over the last couple of years has also been impressive; he scored 11 goals in 28 league games last season.

The 26-year-old was even described by Zinedine Zidane as "the jewel of French football" after a glittering performance 精彩的表现 in the 2006 World Cup.

The player is also known for his distinctive facial scars 独特的面部疤痕, which he got when he was in a motor accident in France when he was just two years old.

But while Bayern are understandably keen to hold on to their player, a gigantic offer 巨额出价 of the scale United are reported to have made would obviously be very appealing.

And Ribery himself is keen to experience football at a higher level than currently offered in Germany's Bundesliga. This would mean Bayern would need to qualify for next year's Champions League in order to persuade him to stay:

At all costs
 It would be difficult for me to stay if we do not reach this goal. It is why the club must, at all costs, finish at least in second place (in the German league).
Franck Ribery, Bayern Munich

"It would be difficult for me to stay if we do not reach this goal. It is why the club must, at all costs, finish at least in second place (in the German league)."

When he says we must finish second "at all costs", he means that it has to happen whatever the cost. If they do not finish at least second in the league then he will leave the club.

Other clubs also known to be interested in the player include Real Madrid and Barcelona. Closer to home, Manchester United's super-rich local rivals Manchester City may also be on the hunt 猎寻.

But filling the boots 接替 of Ronaldo will be a tall order 重任 for any player arriving at Manchester United.

Ronaldo is currently the World Player of the Year, and contributed an astonishing 42 goals for Manchester United last season, a tally 得分数 which is all the more impressive as Ronaldo is a winger 边锋 rather than a centre forward 中锋.

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