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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 07:45 GMT
Ronaldo heading for Madrid exit
Real Madrid striker Ronaldo
Ronaldo joined Real in August 2002
Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Ronaldo has been told he can leave the club.

Ronaldo, 30, is the second big name to be told he is surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu after David Beckham agreed to move to LA Galaxy in August.

"The situation is different to that of Beckham as Ronaldo still has another year on his contract after this one," said club president Ramon Calderon.

"But he is going to be inactive because the coach has made it clear he doesn't count on him."

Ronaldo has started only three league matches under Italian coach Fabio Capello, who has been focusing on bringing in new blood since taking over in the summer.

The three-time World Player of the Year, who has scored only one goal this season, missed Sunday's 1-0 victory over Real Zaragoza with a leg injury.

Following the win, Capello celebrated by making an obscene gesture towards a small section of the crowd that had been calling for his head - although he did later make an apology.

606: DEBATE
AC

"I want to apologise to everyone but this has been going on since the first day I arrived. here. There are two people behind the dug-out who are continually offensive," he said.

"The gesture was towards those two but, as the coach of Real Madrid, I should apologise," said Capello, outraged that his abusers this time had a sign that said 'Ronaldo stay, Capello get lost'.

But it is the Brazilian who is heading for the exit and Ronaldo could follow Beckham to Major League Soccer following speculation over a move to New York Red Bulls.

The former Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Inter Milan forward has also been linked with a return to Italy with Juventus and a move to Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia.

Al Ittihad president Mansour Al Balwi said on Friday: "There is definite interest. We have not negotiated with him but very soon we will start the process of getting in contact with him."

Calderon added: "We have to find an exit that's good for him.

"I know sporting director Predrag Mijatovic has had conversations with some clubs and that the player also has offers but we'll have to wait and see whether it will be now or in June.

"It would surely be better for the club and him if he went if there are offers. If not, he will stay with us."

SEE ALSO
Real coach calls time on Beckham
13 Jan 07 |  Football
Beckham agrees to LA Galaxy move
12 Jan 07 |  Football


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