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Real seek to ease escalating Ronaldo row

SoccerNews in English Premier League, La Liga 28 May 2008

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Real Madrid on Wednesday took steps to cool down the heated row that has blown up with Manchester United over their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Late Tuesday United issued a hard hitting statement threatening to report Real to FIFA over their interest in the Portugal winger.

“We have watched with growing irritation the comments attributed to Real Madrid over their alleged desire to sign Cristiano,” the United statement read.

“We will have no alternative but to report Real if it continues to behave in this totally unacceptable fashion.”

United were irritated by comments from Real coach Bernd Schuster claiming the 23-year-old was their number one summer transfer target.

In a bid to take the heat out of the situation Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon declared that the Spanish chmpions did not want “to enter into conflict” with the European champions.

“We’re not going to do anything againt the wishes of a friend like Manchester,” said Calderon as reported in the Spanish media.

“We’re sorry that Manchester are unhappy, but Real have nothing to do with this affair.”

Repeated reports over the past few weeks suggest Real have every intention of going for their man with a lucrative bid of 80 million euros.

Calderon added: “We know Manchester are not selling, so why would we persist? It’s a problem between the player and the club.”

According to the club’s chief Real have only let it be known that they are interested in Ronaldo “if he decides one day” to leave England.

Ronaldo is under contract with the English titleholders until 2012.

The player himselrf has muddied the waters by failing to categorically deny that he might be in the running for a move after last week’s Champions League win over Chelsea in Moscow.

He is currently with the rest of the Portugal squad at their Euro 2008 training camp and said earlier this week: “What the press speculate about goes over my head.

“I have already been used to it for the past two years.

“I am calm. Everything’s clear and I will repeat it once again so that the whole world understands: there will be news in two or three weeks.

“At the moment I am here, I am going to give my best and do the best possible in the European Championships.”

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