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Sep 21, 2012

PSG: No contact with Ronaldo

An offer from Paris Saint-Germain was not the cause of Cristiano Ronaldo's recent sadness, according to the French club's president, Nasser Al Khelaifi.

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In an interview in Spanish sports daily Marca on Friday, the Qatari businessman said that PSG had not been in touch yet with Ronaldo's agents, but did not rule out making a move in future.

"If Cristiano is sad it is not because we have been in touch with him," Al Khelaifi said. "If we were interested we would speak to Madrid first. I am not going to talk about other club's players. I respect Madrid and Florentino (Perez) is a great chairman. It is too soon to talk about Ronaldo. He is very professional."

Khelaifi said that, at some future point, it would be nice to see Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi playing together for PSG.

"They are the two best players in the world and it would be great to have them both in your team," he said. "They have a unique charm. I like them both."

Since Khelaifi's Qatar Sports Investments arrived in Paris just over 12 months ago, more than £250 million has been spent on bringing international stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore to the club, with Lucas Moura to follow in January.

Ex-Milan and Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti was hired to blend these arrivals into a top team, but 38-year-old Al Khelaifi, a former Qatar international, acknowledges that trophies do not immediately follow a huge investment.

"Money helps, but it does not mean success," he said. "We have money in Qatar, but we do not want to spend it like crazy. We have still some way to go to reach the top. We are talking about a five-year project but we will get there. In the first year we had to get into the Champions League. (Now) we have to win the league and be competitive in Europe."

The more successful PSG were on the pitch in the coming seasons, the easier it would be to attract the world's very best playing talent, Khelaifi said.

"Well, some of the best players in the world are already here, but obviously we are here to win titles," he said. "It is clear this is a bridge we need to cross for big names to follow."

The Ligue 1 club's owners were also serious about investing in infrastructure and youth development in order to unearth their own homegrown stars.

"Logically we have bought new players because we need to build a great team, but we are not only here for that," Khelaifi said. "We have a very interesting project underway for the youth team. In Paris and its surroundings there are 20 million inhabitants, so there has to be some serious talent out there. We are looking for (the next Messi). We hope we find him."

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