Sir Alex Ferguson believes Cristiano Ronaldo is being used as a pawn by both Reeal Madrid and Barcelona and remains confident the winger not be seduced by offers from either club.
The Manchester United winger is in negotiations to extend his Old Trafford contract until 2012. But reports have claimed that both Barca and Real are keen to tempt the Portugal international to La Liga.
Ferguson has accused the two clubs of exploiting the Ronaldo issue to further the ambitions of the presidents at the respective clubs.
“Let’s be perfectly clear, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been doing this ever since I have been at this club,” said Ferguson.
“When the elections are on, the best player in the world is always used, there is no doubt about that.
“Cristiano is not silly enough not to realise he is being used as a pawn.
“They may be right, they may want him, but there is no doubt there is another motive to it and that is the elections.”
Ferguson did concede that the club would not be held to ransom by Ronaldo.
He added: “There could be a limit.
“They might ask for X and we might only want to pay Y. But that is negotiation. Eventually, if both parties want it, they will come to an agreement.”