fast little loans
London – Cristiano Ronaldo will not be rejoining Manchester United next season, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Real Madrid winger, the biggest threat to United staying in the Champions League, had been linked with a return to Old Trafford.
But manager Ferguson, describing it as a “false hope”, said: “I don”t think there’s anything, as far as I’m aware, that would encourage me to think he would come back here. I don’t think there’s anything in that at all.
“He has got two years left on his contract. It could be to do with the fact that negotiations are going on for a new contract. I think maybe his agent is playing the game, though I’m not prepared to comment on that.”
Ferguson’s more pressing concern is stopping his former protege dumping United out of Europe on Tuesday, for although the Premier League leaders have a marginal advantage after a 1-1 first-leg draw at the Bernabeu, the last-16 tie is delicately poised.
Joking that he might need “a machine gun” to stop the man who got Real’s equaliser in that first meeting, Ferguson admits he has a plan to stop Ronaldo, although he is keeping his cards close to his chest.
He said: “Real have a lot of good players, but it’s quite right to think Ronaldo is their best. He’s much better now than when he left United. He’s mature now. He’s 28 and at the peak of his career. From 28 to 32, with the fitness he has, you expect him to play at his peak until 32 or 33.”
Ferguson saw for himself just how good Real’s current form is when he and his two main coaches, Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen, were at the Nou Camp on Tuesday as Jose’s Mourinho’s team dismantled Barcelona. “They were fantastic,” said Ferguson.
“Every part of their game was spot on. You get that sometimes, I’ve experienced it myself. You need 11 players to play well but, on an odd occasion, you have 11 players who were absolutely superb. That’s what you had the other night.
“I don’t think they”ll reach that height on Tuesday. I think it was a one-off performance. They’ll still play well and we’ll have to make sure that we play well.
“We’ll be OK because it’ll be a different game. Their counter-attacking was terrific. We’re aware of that and our preparation has to include that, but I think we’ll score, I really do.”
And, intriguingly, Ferguson delivered a blow to all those eyeing Mourinho as their next manager, stating that he believed his friend would be staying at the Bernabeu next season and beyond. “You see all these things on Mourinho, but he has two years left on his contract,” said Ferguson. “Everyone assumes he”ll leave – but I heard that last year too.
“I don’t know how they can replace someone like him anyway. A reasonable assessment of his time at Madrid has got to be with how good Barcelona have been. They’ve been exceptional.
“It’s possible –there’s no smoke without fire I suppose. But he has given me no indication that he will leave.”– Mail on Sunday