Date:Tuesday February 6 2007
Cristiano Ronaldo's fantastic form has been a talking point for a while in the press but now it's over: Barcelona's reported interest is the hottest debate.
I'm growing tired of reading everything that's printed and submitted about the future of Cristiano Ronaldo. There are some facts the speculators love to ignore.
1. Ronaldo is a Manchester United player. Not Reading, not Charlton but Manchester United. He's not a rising star, a prized asset of a smaller club (by Benitez) so it's not a question of the size of a bid to lure him away. And, contrary to some newspaper reports, it will not be Barcelona who decide if Ronaldo leaves or not. It will be decided by Manchester United.
2. The winger is still considering a contract offer. His original contract runs out in 2010, like Owen Hargreaves'. The latter's price is now in the 20 million category. Imagine what fee would Ronaldo command?
Of course Barcelona insist they have cash to sign him. Once again, I have to remind them that it's not about cash. We can let Heinze go to cut the costs and we can keep a squad of 18 players but we won't let Ronaldo or Rooney just because of our debts as we'll have no hope of ever clearing these debts without them.
'It is a technical question, that must be decided by the coaches and technical staff. If they want him, our financial availability means Barca can sign anyone, with the only limit being common sense.'
These are the words of Barca finance chief Ferran Soriano. He seems to have forgotten about the tiny little obstacle called Manchester United.
Guys, at least we admitted Bayern were stubborn and did not shout our mouths off about how we can sign anyone.
Then came the Scolari issue. Portugal's national coach allegedly made some deeply unprofessional comments and though he denied them and Ronaldo believes he did not utter them, the suspicion is there.
The core of Scolari's reported comments were that Ronaldo finished the learning stage of his career and he is now ready for another stage in hs career. For me it sounds like we are a Championship club who produced invaluable experience for a young, extremely talented loanee who will be brought back now to his parent club.
It sounds extremely stupid and I accept he did not say these things so I won't reflect on his alleged opinion about the difference between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Oh, I will. He or the journalist who first wrote this rumour is a real fool. It's been put into writing that Ronaldo should choose Barca because Real are not a real team with all the galacticos (who depart rather swiftly these days). May I ask Mr. Scolari or the journalist that what will become of Barcelona if Ronaldo joins Ronaldinho, Messi, Eto'o and Deco (and of course Gudjohnsen)?
I'd be grateful if the club issued a hands off warning. Or announce a pre-contract agreement with Aaron Lennon.
Date:Tuesday February 6 2007
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