Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Madrid Chatter Enrages Sir Alex; Ronaldo Deal Never Agreed

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Madrid Chatter Enrages Sir Alex; Ronaldo Deal Never Agreed

Article excerpt

Manchester United 5

Gamba Osalka 3

SIR Alex Ferguson has launched a stinging attack on Real Madrid's claims they have done a deal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and vowed: "I would not sell you a virus."

The Manchester United manager thought he had put an end to immediate speculation over Ronaldo's future plans when he talked the Ballon D'Or winner into staying at Old Trafford last summer.

In recent times conciliatory messages have been coming out of the Bernabeu which suggested they would turn their attentions elsewhere, having established United are not willing to part with their star man.

However, the calm waters have been rocked again after bold claims from Real director Pedro Trapote who said the deal to sign Ronaldo had been agreed.

The initial private reaction was terse and to the point.

Now Ferguson has gone public with an amazing attack which left no doubt he would not be doing business with Real now, next summer, or at any time in the future.

"Do you think I would enter into a contract with that mob?" he said.

"No chance. I would not sell them a virus. That is a 'no' by the way. There is no agreement whatsoever between the clubs."

Although Ferguson was eventually guided away from the subject, he still managed to outline his view on Real's strategy, which the United boss feels is being influenced by Ronaldo's close friend Gabriel Heinze, who joined Real from the Red Devils last year after he was denied his preferred choice of a move to Liverpool.

Ferguson knows the speculation will not stop. However, he wants to try to concentrate on his own team.

"Real blame anybody but themselves," he said. "I said to (chief executive) David Gill a year last summer when we sold Gabriel Heinze he could bet his life this stuff will all start up around Ronaldo in January. It will happen again this Januar y.

"We just have to ignore it. If we worry about what Real Madrid have to say we are not concentrating on our own publicity and the programme of difficult games we have got coming up.

"Sometimes they create an angry situation and sometimes I get really annoyed with them. But we know their game. I think we should play ours and ignore them. …

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