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Real deny Man Utd Ronaldo claims

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal in the final
Real Madrid are in pursuit of United's Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid claim Manchester United "have no evidence" for their official complaint to Fifa over the Spanish giants' interest in Cristiano Ronaldo.

United lodged the complaint on Monday over what they believe is a deliberate attempt by Real to unsettle the winger.

But Real president Ramon Calderon said: "They don't have any evidence because nothing has happened.

"All there is is what the papers say and rumours the player seems to want to leave."

According to the Brazilian website Terra, Ronaldo last week said he wanted to play at Madrid, "but only if it's true they are ready to pay what Manchester United ask of them."

In response Calderon told a Spanish newspaper: "For Madrid it is an honour to know that a player like him thinks that playing at Real would be good. We are proud to know that he would like to be with us."

But on Tuesday, in response to United's official complaint, he added: "At the moment a move is impossible because United don't want to sell him.

"It's United's right (to complain) but we haven't done anything and are not going to. It's between the player and his club."

Ronaldo, currently with Portugal at Euro 2008, has said he will not speak about the subject again before the end of the tournament, even though he said over the weekend he had yet to decide about his future.

United released a short statement on Monday expressing their discontent, which Fifa is now analysing before making a decision.

"On 27 May, United made clear its intention to report Real Madrid if it continued to involve itself in the future of Ronaldo," the statement read.

"Unfortunately, Real Madrid has not kept its own counsel."

It's United's right (to complain) but we haven't done anything and we are not going to do anything

Ramon Calderon
Real Madrid president

The Spanish club have made clear their admiration for Ronaldo in a number of public statements while acknowledging that the player is under contract.

Article 18 of Fifa's regulations does not stipulate any possible sanction against Real, but does state that one club have to inform another in writing if they are to start negotiations with their player.

However, the rules do not specifically state that the club that owns the player have to give consent.

Despite being under contract at Old Trafford until 2012, Ronaldo has refused to state publicly and unequivocally that his future lies with United.

Real coach Bernd Schuster claimed Ronaldo was their main summer transfer target, triggering United's initial threat of a complaint, while Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has accused the Spanish club of a "lack of morals" for allegedly unsettling the player.

606: DEBATE
HammersSpoon

United have sold David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gabriel Heinze to Real in recent years, but Ferguson insisted the case of Ronaldo was different.

He said: "Yes, we sold them Van Nistelrooy and Beckham but we did that because we wanted to."

Former Manchester United star Eric Cantona said on Monday that the club would continue to grow from strength to strength, whether Ronaldo stayed or not.

"He is the best player in the world today and they are the biggest club in the world as they continue to win things," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I hope Ronaldo will stay at Old Trafford - but if he wants to leaves I am sure Manchester United will still win things.

"I am sure that Ferguson will try as hard as possible to keep him at Old Trafford. But if he wants to leave, United it will still be United."

Asked whether now was a suitable moment for the Portuguese winger to leave the club, Cantona added: "It is never the right time to leave Old Trafford."

Ronaldo himself was quoted last week as saying that he "would like to play for Real Madrid - but only if they are ready to pay what Manchester United ask of them".

But on Sunday, Ronaldo said he had not decided about his future and would not comment again until after the European Championship.


see also
Ronaldo 'yet to decide on future'
08 Jun 08 |  Portugal
Ferguson issues Ronaldo warning
01 Jun 08 |  Man Utd
Ronaldo future remains uncertain
22 May 08 |  Man Utd
Ronaldo will not leave - Man Utd
20 May 08 |  Man Utd


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