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Page last updated at 21:26 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 22:26 UK

Man Utd expect long Ronaldo stay

Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and winger Cristiano Ronaldo
Ferguson said it was vital for the club to keep hold of Ronaldo

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes Cristiano Ronaldo would prefer to extend his stay at the club rather than join Real Madrid.

After a summer saga in which the 23-year-old was continually linked with the Spanish giants, Ronaldo has publicly committed himself to United.

"Real know they are dealing with a different animal now," said Ferguson.

"As he gets older, he'll appreciate being here more. The longer players stay, they don't want to leave."

But should Ronaldo choose to leave Old Trafford, Real president Ramon Calderon said there would be a place for him in the Spanish capital.

"If the player still says he wants to leave for Real Madrid and Manchester want to sell him, then we could talk about that," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Ronaldo, who is set to return to training in September following an ankle operation last month, has a contract running until 2012 at Old Trafford but Ferguson said he would like to extend the deal.

"Cristiano will now settle down and enjoy his career here," said Ferguson.

Cristiano's interview was very good and he explained himself perfectly from my perspective

Sir Alex Ferguson
"He has four years left on his contract and hopefully, at some point, we would like to extend it. That's where we are.

"I can't deny it was an important issue to keep him here. There are very few players who have left me against my will and it is unusual for anybody to want to leave United.

"I think Cristiano realises that. We had a good meeting in Portugal that clarified a lot of things.

"It was good and I was pleased with it and that's why I felt everything was going to be all right."

Ronaldo gave an in-depth interview to a Portuguese newspaper clarifying his position after Ferguson had flown to Portugal to hold talks.

The winger accepted some responsibility for allowing the speculation to continue throughout the summer, although he did not rule out a move to the Bernabeu in the future.

"We're happy. Cristiano's interview was very good and he explained himself perfectly from my perspective," added Ferguson.

"As I said on Wednesday, the matter is closed and he is a Manchester United player.


"He is happy to be a Manchester United player and he has always been happy here.

"It's just unfortunate that the participation of Real Madrid in the player's life that has made it difficult for him.

"But the important thing is that we have ended all the stuff about Real Madrid."

Although Ronaldo is unlikely to feature for United until October, Ferguson said his recovery going well.

"The specialist he saw yesterday is delighted with the progress," said Ferguson.

"We'll now take him to the next stage and for a month he will be in rehabilitation and then he should be in full training by that time."

see also
I will stay at Man Utd - Ronaldo
07 Aug 08 |  Man Utd
Ronaldo saga over, says Ferguson
05 Aug 08 |  Man Utd
Ferguson issues Ronaldo warning
01 Jun 08 |  Man Utd

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