Manchester United are so determined not to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid that they would let him rot on the sidelines rather than cave in to pressure should the player and the Spanish champions try to force through a move.

The hardline stance was spelt out by Sir Alex Ferguson and comes directly from the Glazer family, who control United. For United’s American owners, standing up to Real has become a point of principle and they are understood to have echoed in private the vow that Ferguson has made publicly – not to allow the Spanish giants to “ride roughshod” over their club

“The thing people miss the point about is that I’ve had a couple of meetings with the Glazers,” said Ferguson. “Their attitude is ‘to hell with them’ (Real). They would sit a player in the stand. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. They’d do it just to prove a point and not to give in to these people. They’ve got balls, I can tell you. I’ve been delighted with them in that respect.”.


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