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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 10 hours ago
By ESPN Staff
Aug 5, 2008

Ronaldo to return to Man United this week

Cristiano Ronaldo should be given the green light to step up his recovery programme this week.

While talk of a showdown between Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson seems to have dominated certain agendas, particularly in Spain, the Red Devils are more concerned about the 23-year-old's recent ankle operation.

Indeed, United officials have reacted with some amusement to news of potential negotiations between Ronaldo and Ferguson, not least because the Portugal winger is not due to fly into England until later this week at the earliest.

Reports in Spain a fortnight ago suggested Tuesday would be the day Ronaldo told Ferguson face-to-face of his desire to leave for Real Madrid.

However, that will not be the case given he is now due to visit a specialist in Amsterdam to discover how successful his surgery has been.

Only then is Ronaldo set to report in at Carrington, meaning it will be the end of the week at the earliest before he can speak with Ferguson.

And given the United boss is under the impression both men discussed what they had to during a meeting following Portugal's exit from Euro 2008, he is not expecting any further dialogue about Ronaldo's future.

The Red Devils - and Ferguson in particular - have made their position perfectly clear on the matter - Ronaldo, after just one season of a five-year contract, is going nowhere, no matter what price is placed on his head by officials at the Bernabeu.

It is a situation Real president Ramon Calderon may find difficult to stomach but could be forced to accept given his repeated recent protestations that his club do not want to get involved in luring Ronaldo away from Old Trafford and will only act once Old Trafford officials signal their willingness to do a deal.

Such statements have been greeted with mirth at United given the blame being placed at Calderon's door for the discussion over Ronaldo's future, which began almost as soon as the player got his hands on the Champions League trophy in Moscow last May.

Although United have a healthy disregard for reports that come out of Spain, claiming most, including those that stated Ronaldo would return on Tuesday, have been proved false, they are aware most of them originate from Real.


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