Manchester United’s relationship with Real Madrid looks set to deteriorate further after the Spanish club’s president, Ramón Calderón, said United should be “happy and proud” to let Cristiano Ronaldo move to the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo was recovering in hospital last night after undergoing surgery on an ankle but Calderón remains confident that the player still wanted to move to Madrid.
The decision by United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz to become the next coach of the Portuguese national team, has strengthened Calderon’s belief that Ronaldo will soon be on his way to Madrid. Queiroz, Sir Alex Ferguson’s No2, is closer to Ronaldo than anyone at Old Trafford and his departure could undermine United’s hopes of persuading the player to stay.
“I think that, first of all, it’s the desire of the player [to join us],” said Calderón.
“Manchester shouldn’t be angry and should open up their stance. We can’t be blamed if nearly every player wants to come to Real Madrid.
“If I was Manchester United I’d be happy and proud to be able to negotiate such a transfer for one of my players. Everything would be a lot easier if United realised that they could pull off the transfer of the century.
“It all depends on Ronaldo,” he said. “If Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester, he’ll leave. If he wants to stay, he’ll stay. I don’t think you can keep anyone in a place where they don’t want to be, not even in a family. But for a formal negotiation to start, Manchester United will have to open their doors to us.”
That prompted a weary response at Old Trafford, with United increasingly fed up with Real’s pusuit of Ronaldo. “Derision is the best word for it,” one official told The Guardian.