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Sep 16, 2008

Man City deny interest in injured striker Ronaldo

Ronaldo's hopes of returning to the game with Manchester City have quickly ended after the club denied they were interested in signing the former World Cup winner. The 31-year-old is currently on his way back from a serious injury he suffered while with AC Milan in February and is in Brazil training with Fluminense after some thought his career would be over.

City revealed they did have talks with Ronaldo and also assessed his injury status but that is as far as they took their enquiry and they will not be exploring the possibility of signing him.

A club spokeman confirmed that executive chairman Garry Cook had travelled to meet Ronaldo. He said: "We had shown a past interest in bringing the player to the football club in the right circumstances and spoke to him and his representatives.

"However, we have chosen not to pursue the matter.''

Ronaldo was released by Milan at the end of last season so would be free to move to sign for a club at any time, though he is still some way from being fit both in terms of his left knee and his general shape even if his agent suggests otherwise.

The player had spoken of his desire to join City and link up with Robinho. He said today: "I like the project that Manchester City have presented me. They want to make the club one of the best in the world and I feel that I can help.

"It is the best offer I've received and it will be very interesting to play with Robinho. Me and him, together, we can score more than 50 goals.''

Reports in the media suggested City were prepared to make Ronaldo one of the best paid players in the Premier League by offering him a way of £150,000-a-week, though those stories now appear wide of the mark. It appears to be the latest in what will be a long line of big name links.

With Ronaldo suffering a third long-term lay-off with a knee problem it is unlikely any club will offer the striker a long-term deal. He was dogged by problems for three years after breaking down at the 2002 World Cup.

Only yesterday the player's agent was cautious about Ronaldo joining any club after speculation over a move to Manchester City but insisted the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid player was just weeks away from playing again.

Fabiano Farah said: "Ronaldo is clinically fine, but is now getting back to full fitness. He is very well and close to being ready to play.

"The only priority we have is to keep doing what he is doing. Ronaldo is as determined as he was in 2002, when he got over that serious injury that affected him a long time. That year, he came back to be a world champion in the national team.

"He wants to be the same player he was at that time. He wants to keep winning titles, win the Champions League and be the best player in the world again.

"We are working on that and we must not deflect our focus. That's the only thing I can say about all this that has been reported."

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