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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 18, 2008

Ronaldo 'won't be sold', insists Ferguson

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be sold and also confirmed he will be out for three months with an ankle injury.

Ronaldo has sent out mixed messages about his future and been linked with a move to Real Madrid but Ferguson put the record straight in Cape Town after meeting the Portugal winger.

Ferguson said: 'I can say he will be a Manchester united player next season.

'That's our stance, he won't be sold.'

Ronaldo is currently sidelined after an ankle operation and Ferguson added: 'He will be out for three months.'

Ronaldo is resting while the team prepare to face Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge tomorrow.

And Ferguson is adamant the 42-goal star will be wearing United's colours next season when he is fully fit as they attempt to retain the European Cup and Premier League title.

He said: 'The meeting went well. I think we both put across our points of view; where we stand and where the player stands.

'I can say he will be a Manchester United player next season. That's our stance. He won't be sold.'

Ferguson claimed he had been relaxed about the situation.

'It is not a difficult position. I was on my holiday and I was not going to interrupt my holiday, believe me,' said the Old Trafford boss.

'I wasn't panicked because the player is under contract so the strength and the rights are with Manchester United.

'What we have done well is to say nothing. We've kept quiet on this matter and kept it private and what I said to Cristiano remains private.

'I did go and see him last week in Portugal and it was very amicable and there were no problems. That's where we are and we carry on.'

Ferguson insists Ronaldo will not be rushed back.

The United manager said: 'He is on crutches for the first four weeks and will be in rehabilitation for the next four weeks.

'Then the following four weeks he will be back into football training. The time mapped out is three months and we won't bring him back a day earlier than that.

'I think when players have operations we have a responsibility that the player comes back 100% and we will carry that out as we normally do.

'There will be no risk-taking; we never take risks. Our goal is to always make sure that the player gets back 100% and that will be the same in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo'.

United know all about Kaizer Chiefs, having already faced them four times and with the Newlands Stadium bursting at the seams, it should be a special atmosphere.

Ferguson said: 'We are expecting a difficult game again tomorrow as South African football is progressing.

'We benefited the last time we were here with a lot of young players coming through.

'This time we will have a much stronger team. A lot of my players were not at the European Championships as Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales did not qualify, so they've had good rest.

'They have been back training for 10 or 11 days now and pre-season games are about getting your fitness and sharpness. Hopefully we should get a good game tomorrow.'

Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral said: 'To have a team of Manchester United's magnitude here is something special.

'We have a young team and this game will be very much a learning experience for them.

'We cannot wait to rub shoulders with them - the boys are itching to play. We are ready to show the skills of South African football.'

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