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Fergie ready to bet on Ronaldo staying at Utd (SN)

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 May 2008

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Sir Alex Ferguson laughed off suggestions that Cristiano Ronaldo is on his way out of Manchester United and claimed he was ready to put “a very big bet” on the Portuguese winger staying at Old Trafford.

Speculation about Ronaldo's future has been fuelled in the build-up to Wednesday's Champions League final by remarks from the player in which he appeared to leave open the possibility of a move to Real Madrid this summer.

Ferguson was questioned about the possibility of such a scenario unfolding on Tuesday and the Scot's response was withering.

“You do get some idiots in and I thought it was just in England,” he said, before ramming home his point that Ronaldo would be at United for the forseeable futrue.

“If you want to put a bet on it, I'll put a big bet on it with you,” he said. “I'll take your money.”

Ferguson's pithy comments came after United chief executive David Gill vowed that Ronaldo would not be allowed to leave United at any price.

Gill is adamant Ronaldo will see out his contract at Old Trafford.

“Without doubt we are. He's got four more years (on his contract) until 2012, he's been with us for five years and we're sure he'll be with us for many years to come,” Gill said.

“He's clearly one of the best players in the world and he's at a great club, winning trophies.

“He enjoys it immensely here, you can tell that when you speak to him privately. Why would he want to leave?

“We have no intention of letting him go, we will make sure that he's very happy here, as we do with all our top players.”

Reports on Tuesday claimed United have debts of around 764 million pounds but Gill doesn't believe that will force them to cash in on their prize asset.

“Manchester United is not a club that sells its main assets,” he said. “In order to service our debts we need a very successful team on the pitch, and you don't achieve that by selling Cristiano Ronaldo.”

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