La Liga – Real “spectators” in Ronaldo drama


Real Madrid insist they are “passive spectators” in the Cristiano Ronaldo saga while Manchester United still refuse to sell their winger.

FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Premier League Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo Carlos Queiroz - 0

Although Ronaldo made numerous claims during Euro 2008 suggesting any announcement over his future intentions was imminent, so far the Portugal international has remained silent.

It was expected the 23-year-old would be back in Manchester this week for ankle surgery. Instead, he has been pictured on holiday in Sardinia.

The move has the full backing of United medical staff, who are not convinced Ronaldo needs to go under the knife and have decided to re-assess the situation when the player returns to training on July 14.

And given Real officials have already hinted they expect to make a formal announcement confirming Ronaldo’s arrival at the Bernabeu at the beginning of next month, the Spanish giants need the impasse to be broken if they are not going to be embarrassed.

“We are in this situation as passive spectators,” Calderon told Madrid-based radio station City FM.

“I suppose they (United) think we have intervened in some way but it is not like that and that is the truth.

“It is something between the player and Manchester United. If the player continues to insist that he wants to come and if United consider letting him go, then we will ask.”

The problem for Madrid is that United are not considering letting Ronaldo go, a position Red Devils chief executive David Gill is likely to reinforce when he sees Calderon at a meeting of Europe’s leading clubs on July 7.

Having continually stressed, both in public and private, Ronaldo will not be sold, Gill is hardly likely to offer Calderon any encouragement.

So, unless Ronaldo hands in a formal transfer request, Real will be left trying to force the issue themselves.

“His declarations have provoked a lot of expectation,” Calderon said of the Madeira-born player.

“If it was me, it would make me proud that the big clubs were asking about our players.

“But it is not up to the player, or Madrid. Manchester do not want to sell him.”

Calderon’s comments about big clubs may cause some irritation among the Old Trafford hierarchy as they are the European champions, something Real have not been since the 2001/02 season.

However, that is of less concern than keeping hold of Ronaldo, who manager Sir Alex Ferguson felt would not test United over their resolve to keep him and ambition for the future for another two years.

To Ferguson’s regret those words have been proved incorrect, although by the time he returns to his desk at United’s Carrington training ground on Monday at least some of the heat will have been taken out of the situation despite reports of Ronaldo buying property in the Spanish capital.

“It seems to be Ronaldo has become a bit of a hot potato,” Calderon said with remarkable understatement.

However, in admitting Real will not be held to ransom over Ronaldo, Calderon has also revealed an element of weakness, particularly as United, in the sales of David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy, have previously come under fire for selling players to Madrid on the cheap.

“It seems a lot of money to me,” said Calderon.

“It is too soon when we have not even started talking to United.

“But in whatever operation we do we are careful not to put at risk our good administration.”

Sporting Life / Eurosport

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