Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has broken his silence by declaring that he would like to play for Real Madrid.
Real have been pursuing Ronaldo, despite being warned off by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I’d like to play for Real Madrid but only if it’s true they are ready to pay what Manchester United ask of them,” he told respected Brazilian website Terra.
“However, it does not depend on me,” said Portuguese midfielder.
“I’ll only talk about this again after the European Championships,” added Ronaldo. “Don’t ask me any questions because I won’t answer.”
United chief executive, David Gill, insisted that the club would not be forced to sell, even in the face of a world-record bid of about £78m.
“Our position on Ronaldo remains as set out last week,” said Gill, referring to Ferguson’s insistence that the club would rather let the player sit in the stands than sell against their will.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has spoken of the ‘honour’ his club feel over Cristiano Ronaldo’s announcement that he wants to join them.
“For Madrid it is an honour to know that a player like him thinks that playing at Real Madrid would be good,” Calderon told Spanish newspaper AS.
“We are proud to know that he would like to be with us.”
One player who is keen to be reunited with Ronaldo is Madrid’s former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who told Spanish daily paper Marca: “He’d be an important signing for Madrid, because this is a club which signs the best players in the world – and that’s what Cristiano is.
“Cristiano could bring a lot of things to this club. He’s young; he has everything and a long sporting career ahead of him.
“For Madrid, he would be a great signing.”