Should United sell Ronaldo after Champions League final?
The 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