Date:Tuesday May 27 2008
Manchester United have had enough it seems. The club rarely releases official statements regarding transfer speculation but Real Madrid have stepped over the line.
Fergie's outburst against Real in which they claimed they were always immoral and never had any respect had no effect: president Ramon Calderon expressed his surprise as he felt they had done nothing wrong and the chorus got louder: Sergio Ramos, Bernd Schuster and anyone who is breathing at the Madrid press urged Ronaldo to join Real Madrid.
The minor quibble that this is against FIFA regulations did not worry them in the slightest - yet it should as United are ready to report them to the governing body.
'The club has released the following statement regarding Cristiano Ronaldo:
Manchester United has watched with growing irritation the comments attributed to Real Madrid over their alleged desire to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
The facts are:
1) The player is on a long-term contract and his registration is held by Manchester United
) The player is not for sale
The club will have no alternative but to report Real Madrid to the world governing body, FIFA, if it continues to behave in this totally unacceptable fashion. These public attempts to unsettle the player are completely against the regulations and the club will not tolerate them any longer.
In addition, the club is certain that they are a distraction for the Portuguese national squad as they prepare for the European Championships. No-one should be in any doubt that Manchester United will do everything in its power to keep its best players.'
I think we can safely say that's it for this summer. Ronaldo won't go anywhere. Not that actually reporting Real to FIFA would make any difference: they are too powerful within the organisation to get any punishment. But it is a statement of intent and an impressive one at that. Ronaldo's agents should forget about forging a deal this summer.
Date:Tuesday May 27 2008
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