On one hand, Real Madrid is not the same force as before – the mammoth that lured Zidane and
Barcelona Figo to the Bernabeu is a limping, whimpering animal with no brawn to back its bark.
On the other hand, Real Madrid have a lot of money and Ronaldo is known to want to play for Real or Barcelona in the future.
Last year there was a greater danger that Ronaldo would leave Manchester United – this year there’s no crisis at Old Trafford, Manchester United have a good chance of winning the Premiership and a good chance of getting to the Champions League semifinals. Manchester United are also willing to throw a lot of money at Ronaldo.
However, Manchester United will refuse to be blackmailed by the young Portuguese – something Real Madrid are counting on. There ‘first move’ – a Marca piece that is manufactured to attract attention and get the fans talking – is nothing compared to what Real Madrid will do to get their player.
However, knowing Manchester United, and knowing Real Madrid, I know that there are only two people to blame here – Jorge Mendes (Ronaldo’s agent) and Calderon (the Real Madrid president).
Mendes has been pimping Ronaldo to Barcelona and Real Madrid for the last two seasons. Whether it is to get a big paycheck for himself or whether it’s a smokescreen to get Ronaldo a big fat contract, it puts pressure on Manchester United. And believe me, it’s not Ronaldo who’s going to be pushing United, it’ll be Mendes.
The fact that Mendes is also Mourinho’s agent has little to do with this, although you can never know for sure what goes on when agents meet clubs.
Calderon failed last summer to get his first-choice recruits, opting for Reyes instead of Robben, Emerson instead of Fabregas and bringing in Higuain in January instead of Ronaldo (and Gago when Emerson failed). He also failed to get Ashley Cole, forcing him to bring in Marcelo to replace Roberto Carlos.
Ironically, those three were solid buys with an eye to the future, and will prove to be good for Real Madrid. To cope with public pressure though, Real Madrid want a big signing – and Ronaldo fits the bill (especially as Fab’s heart is set on Barcelona).
Will Real Madrid get Ronaldo? I strongly doubt it. They will make the summer miserable for Manchester United fans though.
How much do you want to bet that Manchester United will move to report Real Madrid to Uefa for attempting to unsettle their player?