Rumour Special: Hargreaves & Ronaldo
Big things have been decided this week: Owen Hargreaves will join Manchester United whereas Cristiano Ronaldo will leave for Real Madrid.
Well guys, we must accept that we will have to do without Ronaldo next season. AS, greatest of all papers, have announced that Ronaldo's agent, Pedro Mendes assured Madrid officials that his client would refuse any contract offer from Manchester United and would force an exit from Old Trafford.
Of course, the lads in Madrid are generous so they are ready to give us a tiny fee - a world record £54m. The source is the AS again, of course.
Was there any player who did not join Real once the AS claimed he certainly would? I don't think so, except Vieira, Fabregas, Robben, Kaká, Buffon, Ferdinand... OK, there were a few. Let's face it: AS is the unofficial newspaper of Real Madrid so do not believe a word published by them.
The Sun is at least impartial though its news must be treated with scepticism at best. Fortunately, we do not have to rely on them in the case of Owen Hargreaves. The great Franz Beckenbauer, the Kaiser of Bavarians himself admitted they would be ready to sell Owen Hargreaves if United were still ready to offer something in the region of £17-20 million.
'If it is right that there is an offer of €25-30million (£17million-£20million) for Hargreaves, then I would seriously consider it,' he admitted on Premiere television.
'I think the board also think this way to satisfy the needs of the player.'
Who would you choose if you had to? Hargreaves or Ronaldo? OK, feel free to laugh at this question. I ask a serious one: do we need Hargreaves? My heart and my attitude towards saving money says no and one can suggest, on the evidence of Tuesday night, that with Fletcher and Carrick on our books, we are rich in the midfield department. But let's face it: Scholes is not getting younger and for all his recent brilliance, Fletcher still needs to prove himself.
By the way, what do you think about Steve Sidwell who's been linked with us, too? In-form player who would not cost £17 million - in fact, he could come for nothing. Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Sidwell. Opponents wouldn't be quaking in their boots but who knows, they might be proved wrong...