Sir Alex Ferguson returns to work at Manchester United this morning after his holiday, convinced that he will triumph in the forthcoming battle of wills with Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal winger is determined to engineer a move to Real Madrid, but Ferguson is vehemently opposed to selling and will spend this week examining ways to strengthen his squad.
The two men are not believed to have spoken since Ronaldo left Manchester to join the Portugal squad in late May, with the player doing nothing to dispel rumours of growing tension between him and his club manager.
But while Ferguson has been disappointed by some of Ronaldo’s comments, he does not want to sell the player and is convinced that Ronaldo will drop the issue when he learns of the extent of United’s opposition to the sale.
Carlos Queiroz, Manchester United’s Portuguese assistant manager, has reiterated the club’s desire to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to change his mind about wanting to join Real Madrid.
“Manchester United is very special,” Queiroz told the Portuguese radio station Renascenca. “Because of that we know how to surround Cristiano completely with all the affection and all the attention he deserves. However, not speaking is the most sensible course of action at this moment, so that we don’t contribute to a less than positive spectacle and so we don’t aid those whose interests are difficult to identify.”
France legend Zinedine Zidane believes Real Madrid will end up signing Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Spanish giants have made no secret of their desire to sign the 23-year-old Portuguese winger, despite United’s insistence they will not sell.
“Every time Madrid want good players they get them,” said former Real star Zidane, in Vienna for Euro 2008.
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Cristiano Ronaldo says he hopes to “complete his dream” of moving to Real Madrid, despite Manchester United insisting he is “not for sale”.
The European champions said on Friday: “We are not listening to offers.”
But the Portugal winger, 23, has signalled his intention to “take advantage of a great opportunity”.
“Everybody knows what I want but things don’t only depend on me,” he said. “I am not the person who decides but I hope to complete my dream.”
Ronaldo stated that he made up his mind before the Champions League final that he wanted to leave United for Real.
And he revealed that Luiz Felipe Scolari, about to take over at Chelsea after Portugal’s exit from Euro 2008, advised him to make the move.
“It is a dream, a step forward,” Ronaldo replied when asked about the prospect of playing at the Bernabau.
“For me, it is a great opportunity and, as Scolari says, that train passes by only once and we have to take advantage of it.”