REAL MADRID'S attempt to sign the Brazilian World Cup striker Ronaldo from Internazionale appears to have collapsed after the European champions announced that they have called off talks with the Italian club.
"Real Madrid would like to make it clear that there are irreconcilable differences with Inter in the negotiations over Ronaldo," read a statement on the Spanish club's website yesterday. "In the frank and cordial conversations held this morning, the impossibility of reaching a satisfactory agreement became clear and as a result both clubs have agreed to end the negotiations."
Ronaldo appeared to be poised to join the European champions after the Real president Florentino Perez and his opposite number at Inter, Massimo Moratti, met on Thursday to discuss the possible transfer of the 25-year- old. But significant differences over the value of the twice winner of the World Player of the Year award appear to be at the heart of the breakdown in negotiations.
Reports suggest that Real were prepared to pay pounds 7.9m plus two of their players valued at pounds 19.7m for the Brazilian striker, whereas Inter were demanding in excess of pounds 39.5m.
Inter said on Thursday that Real's initial proposals were not enough to merit the sale of the player. "The offer is very, very, far away from our valuation of the player," an Inter spokesman said.
Earlier this week Moratti dismissed suggestions that Ronaldo would be leaving the Serie A club. "Ronaldo will play one more year for us, against his will, and then he will leave whether we win something or not. Just watch."
Real's sporting director Jorge …