After weeks of speculation Real finally got their man when Ronaldo agreed to join the European Cup holders in a deal reported to be worth £29.8 million.
The protracted Ronaldo saga which has rumbled on since the World Cup finals, eventually reached its’ conclusion just hours before the transfer deadline came intoforce at minight on Saturday.
The deal, which will see Real pay £23 million in cash while offering a choice of players (one of Flavio Conceicao, Raul Bravo or Pedro Munitis) in part-exchange, was the culmination of weeks of negotiating between Real president Florentino Perez andhis Inter counterpart Massimo Moratti. On several occasions the deal looked dead and buried before being resolved minutes before the deadline.
The deal almost foundered on Saturday when Real striker Fernando Morientes, whose move to Barcelona was seen as an intergral part of the Ronaldo deal, decided to stay putat the Bernabeu.
Elsewhere in Spain, Mallorca striker Alberto Luque, the subject of much speculation in recent months, has finally joined Deportivoo La Coruna.
Meanwhile, Depor’s veteran Brazilian midfielder Djalminha, has joined Austria Vienna on loan for the rest of the season.
Inter moved quickly to replace Ronaldo by completing the signing of Argentina’s Hernan Crespo from Lazio in a deal worth £17 million. Inter striker Bernardo Corradi moves to the Stadio Olimpico in part-exchange.
Further bad news for Lazio supporters came with the departure of team skipper Alessandro Nesta from the cash-strapped clubNesta joined Milan for £20 million. The response of the suppporters was emphatic, with several hundred going on the rampage in Rome when news of the deals filtered through.
In England, the most significant move of the weekend saw Leeds striker Robbie Keane complete a £7 million move to Tottenham Hotspur. The Republic of Ireland striker who although only 22, has already cost £38 million in transfer fees to date, signed a four-year deal with the London club.
Leeds meanwhile have signed Swedish defender Teddy Lukic on loan from AIK Stockholm for the rest of the season.
Liverpool’s unsettled striker Jari Litmanen finally secured a move away from Anfield when he agreed to join former club Ajax.
In Germany, there was little transfer activity, although former international striker Freddi Bobic, who was deemed surpplus to requirements, has been given theopportunity to revive his career with struggling Hannover.