Manchester United said Friday the latest reports claiming star winger Cristiano Ronaldo was about to move to Spanish giants Real Madrid were “utter nonsense” and insisted the Portugal international was not for sale.
Ronaldo, a boyhood Real fan, has been linked with a move to the Spanish capital since the end of last season even though he scored a hugely impressive 42 goals in all competitions last term as United won both the Premier League and Champions League trophies.
The 23-year-old may miss the start of next season should he need surgery on an ankle injury.
In the meantime, United insisted their prize asset would not be joining Real within the next few days. “It is utter nonsense and totally laughable. Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale,” said a club spokesman.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has become increasingly frustrated by Real's very public courting of Ronaldo, whose Old Trafford contract runs until 2012. And that led United to report the Bernabeu club to FIFA although the global governing body have taken no action against Real.
Were Ronaldo to leave Old Trafford, it is unlikely he would depart for a fee of much less than 70 million pounds.
United leave for their tour of South Africa on July 18 but Ronaldo was not scheduled to be a member of the squad for that pre-season trip.
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