Should United sell Ronaldo after Champions League final?

May 21, 2008

Cristiano RonaldoThe speculation in Spanish newspapers in the build-up to the Champions League final is all about Cristiano Ronaldo and the chances of him signing for Real Madrid next season (see Marca, for example).

The feeling in Madrid seems to be that if United beat Chelsea here in Moscow tonight, the ludicrously talented Portugal winger could leave Old Trafford thinking something along the lines of “My work is done here…”

Now, as far as I know Ronaldo has never said anything of the kind, while United are adamant that they will not even consider negotiating with any club, whatever the result in the first all-English Champions League final.

It’s the sort of speculation that really annoys Alex Ferguson and the only time he (briefly) lost his air of benevolence at Tuesday’s pre-match news conference was when a journalist asked him about Ronaldo’s future.

“Are you an idiot?” Ferguson responded. “I thought they were just in England…”

United would obviously be a weakened team without Ronaldo and there’s no real incentive to sell — except the money, which would presumably be not far short of the 100 million euros mark.

I don’t believe United will even consider it, but maybe it would be worth looking at what is happening at Barcelona before they rule it out completely.

If Barcelona had sold Ronaldinho after the Champions League final in 2006 they would have been able to name just about any price they liked, and certainly a world record fee, for the Brazilian. As it is, they have seen how their main asset’s form has declined over the past two seasons, and he is likely to leave for a more reasonable amount (15 million euros is the figure I’ve read).

I imagine United fans will think it’s an absurd idea, but there’s something to be said for selling at the peak of the market. If he does as well as most people expect him to tonight, that could be a lot of money…

What do you reckon?

Kevin Fylan, Moscow

PHOTO: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United leaves the hotel in central Moscow for a training session, May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin


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It would have made a sense for Barca to sell in 2006 but only with the fact they had Messi aswell.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Who could Manchester buy to replace him? Ribery would be the obvious player but Bayern Munich will not sell after one season. It is too risky

Posted by Claudia | Report as abusive

Yes, I suppose if Manchester United had the new Cristiano Ronaldo lined up it would make the decision a bit easier…

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Unless it is your only star you should sell any player when the price is right. The rule of thumb is not to sell more than one star at a time.

Posted by nyoped | Report as abusive

Johan Cruyff said that was exactly what Barça should have done with their side after they won the Champions League and I tend to agree. Ronaldo is a great player, but if someone is prepared to pay over 100 million euros then they should take the money, rebuild the side and snap up the next prodigy when he comes along. United could even decide to buy Ronaldinho with the small change and if he turned out to be a flop it wouldn´t matter.

The only thing is that they should sell him to Barça and not Real and then hope the Catalans go out in the Champions League qualifiers. Better still sell him to Milan for their UEFA Cup campaign.

Posted by Simon Baskett | Report as abusive

They should take the money. Manchester United has always maintained that no one player is more important than the club. The increasingly corporate United board would find it difficult not to except an offer of that magnitude. It would be a very unpopular move with the fans, though, unless Ronaldo made it clear that he wanted to leave.

Which journalist did Sir Alex call an idiot? I hope it wasn’t directed at you Kevin? Go on, own up.

Posted by Beth | Report as abusive

No i dont think thats a good idea because Ronaldo makes every one in his team good and their is no other Ronaldo ready to be sold.

Posted by val | Report as abusive

i dont think ribery would be as good as Ronaldo and i dont think he will turn his back on Bayern

Posted by pete | Report as abusive

it’ll be a good idea to sell ronaldo after united win the champions league, but what if the don’t win.there is no way they can release him.

Posted by evans | Report as abusive

The boy’s been in sintilizing form this year, however
he’s gone pretty stale towards the end of the campaign.
As much as I admire Ronaldo(he currently is best in the world), I can’t see him repeating his performance next year. His game is based on speed, and as he gets older his game will decline. It would be a smart business decision if United were to sell their pirzed posession.

Posted by jimmy | Report as abusive

Ribery was great at Bayern this year but I agree, I don’t see him having a Ronaldo-esque influence on the Premier League. Ronaldinho as a replacement might not be that crazy an idea. Amazing player who just needs a change of scene.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

For that kind of money – sell him outside the Prem and sit on the money until the next Ronaldo is ready. Man U will still challenge for the Prem title without him next year. (see the note by Val, posted at 4:16) But I know that they’re expected to look beyond the Prem. I love the guy, but the right chemistry with another player can still work.

Posted by Rick Schuette | Report as abusive

Ronaldo dont go to real madrid.. u r the best in manchester untied

Posted by almira | Report as abusive

Selling ronaldo would be a huge mistake this early in his career. Once his contract expires in 2012 I would consider selling him but that is if you have a replacement lined up and at his young age, I couldn’t see his pace or skill starting to taper off yet. Real would still be interested in a few years as long as Ronaldo is still in good form. Madrid does make some good decisions on players to buy but they have a history of making poor purchases…anyone remember Thomas Gravesen?

Posted by mitch | Report as abusive

mitch: you completely missed the whole point. In a few years you aren’t going to get 100 million Euros for him. No way no how.

ManU should sell. They still have a bit of debt they would like (but don’t NEED) to get off the books and it makes sense for Ronaldo since, as much as it pains me to say it, Real Madrid is the biggest most prestigious club on earth.
Plus he has always talked about wanting to play in Spain (who wouldn’t want to with the weather and the women there? :) )
Sell while the getting is good United. You’ll still finish top 4 next year since that is pretty much a given in the Prem. There will be other stars who will end up filling the gap.

Posted by papa bear | Report as abusive

no i really want hom to stay he is my fave player in manchester united they are good as a team . PLEASE RONALDO STAY IN MANU you are the best player the goal was brilliant yesterday i love man u

Posted by lauren | Report as abusive

To sell or not to sell, first and foremost the simple factor to decide by the bosses is whether the player, do or do not have his heart to play in his club. And if he does not, then if a good price comes along, then it makes sense to sell.

One cannot put a gun on a players head and force him to play for a club where his heart is not there.

And of course, in this case, if Ron’s head swell a bit more and keep telling the whole world that he is the best, and without due acknowledgement that he is the best not because on his own he can be, then sell him and make the most money out of the sale fast.

In this way, one can sacrifice one player for the squad, why not?

Terence from Singapore

Posted by Terence | Report as abusive

well, no one could replace ronaldo,, but theres always talent, nani needs 2 seasons to sharpen up.. and furgie always makes the right the right players i.e speed, teamwork.. it shows in ronaldos game that he is not going to stay very long, as he tries to impress every team… i think he should leave, its good for him and the club… this could be the only time when someone could offer 100million..

Posted by hardik | Report as abusive

Ronaldo shuld quit manchester soonest possible and we can happily watch it go down the drain.Without Ron,manchester iz DOOMED!!!!!
Cant wait to cu in REALMADRID

Posted by makavely | Report as abusive

its good for a player to move when at his peak else such kinda offer will never come agian, i dont see him replicate the same form next season.

Posted by rufai,nigeria | Report as abusive

Ronaldo is the best player and no one can to replace him,so ronaldo show us what u can do in the next season.

Posted by mijusha | Report as abusive

no true united supporter would want him to leave.. it is only other teams supporters who will want to leave… he has been fantastic this season and i fully expect him to be wearing a red shirt and playing his home football at old trafford next season..


Posted by dee | Report as abusive

Not just yet lads…Ronnie will have a point to prove next season and although he may not score 42 goals, he will still be the driving force in the quest for another double or treble.

Posted by Red Devil | Report as abusive