Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer as Real Madrid remain hopeful that the Portuguese international will agree to a new contract which will keep him at the Bernabeu until 2018.
Ronaldo set the Spanish side on the way to an impressive 6-0 win away at Bournemouth in a pre-season friendly, scoring the game’s opening two goals and generally stealing the show, with his first, a characteristic long-range free-kick, drawing applause from the Dean Court crowd.
Although it is widely known that Manchester United have been working exceptionally hard this summer on a potential purchase of their old star, Ancelotti insisted his future is at Real Madrid.
“I think Ronaldo is the most important player of this team, the player with the best quality. Everyone knows him,” Ancelotti said. “I think we have to help him every time to do his best because if he can do his best it’s a great opportunity for this season.”
When specifically asked whether Ronaldo could leave this year, Ancelotti said “I don’t think so.
“As I said, I think he is the most important player of Real Madrid and his future will be with Real Madrid. There is no question about this.”
Manchester United sources have also stated that they are much less confident of a deal than they were a month ago.
The English champions have also made informal enquiries about Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, but that deal has been seen as even more difficult to complete than the purchase of Ronaldo.
While Spurs are extremely reluctant to sell to United in particular - and are determined to keep the Welsh star in any case - the player himself is known to prefer Real Madrid as his ultimate destination in the event of leaving Tottenham. Playing at the Bernabeu remains his long-term ambition, but there is a growing feeling that he will decide to stay at White Hart Lane for at least one more season.
Ancelotti, meanwhile, said he is happy with Real Madrid’s squad as it stands - despite the club's ongoing interest in Bale.
“My opinion is this team is really good, really good quality. Really good balance, players with quality, players with character, players with personality. I am really happy to train these things and we don’t need to add other players,” he said.