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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 20, 2011

City deny Ronaldo intent

Manchester City have rejected speculation that they are about to launch a big-money move for Cristiano Ronaldo.

• Tevez: I want to leave Man City
• Mancini: Tevez to stay
• Chairman: No summer spending spree

Ronaldo, a former World Player of the Year, quit Manchester United for Real Madrid in an £80 million deal two years ago and has been in fine form since his arrival at the Bernabeu.

However, despite the 26-year-old's 51 goals in all competitions this season, Real missed out on both the Primera Division title and Champions League glory.

With relations between Ronaldo and coach Jose Mourinho said to be strained, it has been suggested City could swoop with a bid far in excess of what Real paid for the Portugal international.

Such a move would contradict the claims chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak made in his end-of-season address on the City website, which was released on Thursday, in which he stated firmly that there would not be a mass influx of players this summer and that the club were committed to working within UEFA's new financial fair play rules.

City officials have now confirmed that Ronaldo is not a transfer target this summer, claiming the speculation is pure 'mischief-making'.

"Speculation linking the club with Ronaldo is ill-informed and unfounded and nothing other than mischief-making," senior officials told Sky Sports.

"Whilst there is no doubt that Ronaldo is one of the world's greatest players, he is not on the club's list of transfer targets."

Before manager Roberto Mancini can think about who he wants to bring in, he must resolve issues around players no longer thought to be required.

Wayne Bridge and Craig Bellamy are both certain to return after West Ham and Cardiff were both condemned to play in the Championship next season, while it is also expected Emmanuel Adebayor will not have his stay at Real extended.

Mancini has ridiculed the rumours. Asked if he would be signing Ronaldo, Mancini replied: "Yes. We sign Cristiano Ronaldo for £200 million!"

The follow-up question suggested the Italian may be speaking sarcastically, to which he answered: "I think so. I don't know why this comes up. I know nothing about this. Cristiano Ronaldo is a fantastic player but I don't think he can leave Real Madrid.

"I could [sign him] after the FA Cup final," joked Mancini, referring to reports in the aftermath of the Wembley showpiece linking him to a plethora of top names. "Ronaldo, Messi, Fabregas and Iniesta if possible! I don't think it is possible!"

The City boss became more serious when quizzed about skipper Carlos Tevez, who told an Argentinian radio station that he wants to leave the Eastlands club. Mancini refused to discuss the matter, insisting no words will stop the saga from continuing.

"I don't want to answer a question about Carlos. Otherwise we will never finish this. It is better to focus on the big game, it's really important for us. After, we can speak about Carlos."

Asked if Sunday's game with Bolton will be Tevez's last for the club, Mancini replied: "I don't think so."

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