Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz has advised his countryman Cristiano Ronaldo not to sign for Real Madrid.
The Portuguese winger, 23, has confirmed that he wants to quit United to join Real, although the Premier League and Champions League holders have insisted he is not for sale.
“Manchester United is very special,” Queiroz told the Portuguese radio station Renascenca.
“Because of that we know how to surround Cristiano completely with all the affection and all the attention he deserves.
“However, not speaking is the most sensible course of action at this moment, so that we don’t contribute to a less than positive spectacle and so we don’t aid those whose interests are difficult to identify.”
Queiroz, a former manager of Real, is said to have become an important figure in Ronaldo’s life.
Real president Ramon Calderon said on Monday they will only open talks with Ronaldo “once his club accept to sell him”.
“Right now he’s a United player – we’ll not interfere or create any problem,” Calderon added.
United have always insisted they would not listen to any offers for the Portugal winger, but Ronaldo’s heart seems set on a move to La Liga.
After Portugal’s exit from Euro 2008, Ronaldo signalled his intention to “take advantage of a great opportunity” by joining the Spanish champions.
“Everybody knows what I want but things don’t only depend on me,” he said. “I am not the person who decides but I hope to complete my dream.”
Queiroz’s own future is in doubt, with his name on a shortlist of potential replacements for Luiz Felipe Scolari as Portugal’s national coach.
“I’m not going to put myself in the market,” he said. “The decision should not be a result of those who make themselves candidates, but a decision that is conscious, rational and based on what the Federation [Portuguese FA] judges [believe] is necessary.”