Oliver Kay in the Times
Guilty of a few untimely indiscretions during the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that he has been forbidden from talking about Real Madrid by Sir Alex Ferguson and so, with the Spanish club to confirm their interest in the Manchester United winger publicly this evening, there appears to be a recognition within Old Trafford that retaining his services may prove easier said than done.
Predrag Mijatovic, the Real sporting director, has admitted his interest in Ronaldo in an interview that is due to be broadcast tonight and, while both Ferguson and David Gill, the United chief executive, have declared that the 21-year-old will not be sold, the manager's words behind closed doors — somewhat misguidedly revealed by the player to, of all things, a Madrid-based sports newspaper — betray more than a little unease at the speculation emanating from the Spanish capital.
Real's courting technique is tried and tested and, after the initial leaks to their chosen media outlets, Mijatovic has confirmed in an interview with Sky Sports' Revista de La Liga show this evening that Ronaldo is a target. “Cristiano Ronaldo is a fantastic player and any team would love to have him in their squad,” Mijatovic said.
“The fact that he is already at such an important club as Man U, with the contract he has, shows what an important player he is. It is very early on to be talking about this.”
Whether it is based on intelligence or mere arrogance, Real are confident that they will get their man. Ronaldo announced on a number of occasions last summer that he wished to join them, particularly after being vilified for his role in
On Sunday afternoon, Spanish journalists camped outside Ronaldo's