The Guardian tells us that Ferguson and Queiroz have told Ronaldo to avoid talking to the press about any transfer rumours linking him away from Manchester United.
Notwithstanding the fact that it is sound advice (why stir up a nest of hornets), many will see this as a sign of weakness – all it goes to show is that sooner or later, the lure of playing for the Spanish giants (Real Madrid or Barcelona) will be too great.
Right now, neither Madrid nor Barcelona are willing (or able) to test Manchester United’s will seriously. No 30-40m offers are on the table, and even then, Ronaldo will not go for anything less than 40-45 mil – a very high price but considering his age and his talents (not to mention his star appeal), reasonable in today’s transfer climate. After all, if Bale can go for 10m, Richards is touted for 18m and Sheva goes for 31m, Ronaldo is worth at least 40m, isn’t he?
By 2010, Ronaldo will be 25-26 and in the prime of his career. Manchester United’s main task is not to keep him here for the next season, because he’s certain to stay for a while anyway. Manchester United’s challenge will be in keeping Ronaldo at Old Trafford when he’s 24-25 – when he’s already played for Manchester United for 5-6 years and wants the chance to live out his dream (playing for Real Madrid).
It will be very difficult to stop Ronaldo then.