Date:Friday July 18 2008
Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to hold on to Cristiano Ronaldo who is eager for a move to Real Madrid. The manager has held talks with the winger and insists he's going to stay.
Fergie refused to disclose the details of their meeting so we do not know what makes him think that Ronaldo is definitely going to stay - apart from the simple fact that he's contracted to United and is therefore not free to leave at will.
'I can say that he will be a Manchester United player next year, we won't be selling him,' Fergie told reporters at a news conference in Cape Town.
'It (the meeting) went well. We put across our points of view, where we stand and where the player stands.'
He never said that Ronaldo agreed to stay - but he's apparently confident. However, my chief concern is not whether he's right. I'm actually asking if we should keep Ronaldo, for I'm not sure.
Granted, he's the best player in the world at the moment and his goals will be difficult to replace. However, too much of our attacking play depended on Ronaldo as the whole team was set up to utilise his abilities the most effectively. The side was actually built around him...
Many believe that Rooney would thrive in a more liberated role which is out of the question while Ronaldo is at the club because we need desperately his fantastic amount of work in order to create chances for Ronaldo. And even Carlos Tevez might score more goals without the Portuguese.
There's more to it, though, and only now we arrive at the key part. He definitely wants away and is not fully content even if he reluctantly agrees to stay for another season. A dip in form is inevitable but his ego is still getting bigger, you can see it every day.
The way he's been taking the piss over his transfer since, well, May 21 shows that now he regards himself as the biggest and best thing that's currently in football. He's the best player in the world, sure, but a little humility would not go amiss. So far, his arrogance was serving him well on the pitch but an overlarge ego will only hinder him and United as well.
So I'm not sure. But if he stays then I'll focus on the positives: we'll still have the world's best player in the squad and we'll have a whole year to find a replacement - or ease him into the side if we happen to sign a winger this summer.
Date:Friday July 18 2008
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