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Ferguson expected Ronaldo to go

Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo
Sir Alex Ferguson could not convince Ronaldo to stay on at Old Trafford

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he was resigned to seeing Cristiano Ronaldo leave Old Trafford.

The 24-year-old Portuguese winger is poised to complete a record £80m move to Real Madrid, with reports suggesting the deal has long been in place.

And Ferguson, who is on holiday in the south of France, told the Mail on Sunday: "He wanted to leave, it is as simple as that.

"He was going to go some time. We've done well to keep him for so long."

Ferguson has persuaded Ronaldo to stay twice before, when Real pursued him in the summers of 2007 and 2008, but appears to have decided he could no longer stand in the way of the player's dream move to the Bernabeu.

According to a statement released by United on Thursday, the Spanish side's bid was accepted after Ronaldo "again expressed his desire to leave".

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

Ronaldo's attitude has angered some United fans but Portugal boss Carlos Queiroz, who worked with the player during his spell as Ferguson's assistant from 2004 to 2008, says they should not question the player's loyalty.

Queiroz, who also had a stint as coach of Real in 2003/04, told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek: "When you talk about loyalty, you must understand that it works in two directions.

"And, more than 95% of the time, moves are dictated by the managers at the clubs. They say 'I want to hire this player' or 'I want to release this player'.

"Once in a while some players have the capacity and the power to create their own motivations.

"I belong to the romantic times of football but, like it or not, this is the situation at the moment.

"In the modern game, loyalty is to be a great professional, to be committed to your club and its goals and ambitions. In that respect, nobody can point one finger against Cristiano because, as a professional, he is brilliant."

Ronaldo will undergo a medical with Madrid in the next few days and expects the move to go through, despite suffering from a minor hernia injury.

United want the matter to be concluded by 30 June.

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see also
Ronaldo confident of Real switch
12 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
Man Utd accept 80m Ronaldo bid
11 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
Hughes expects big transfer spree
11 Jun 09 |  Football
Reaction to Real's Ronaldo offer
11 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
History of the world transfer record
11 Jun 09 |  Football
Who can replace Ronaldo?
12 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
How can Real Madrid afford Ronaldo?
11 Jun 09 |  Business
Ronaldo's career in photos
11 Jun 09 |  Football
Kaka completes Real Madrid switch
09 Jun 09 |  Europe

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