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28 May 2008 11:48
Manchester United have threatened to report Real Madrid to Fifa as the row over the Spanish club’s bid to sign Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo turns ugly.
United have been increasingly frustrated by Real’s attempts to lure Ronaldo to the Bernabeu in the last year.
A series of public pronouncements from senior figures at Real have made it clear they are keen to buy Ronaldo, who is under contract to United for four more years, even though the Premier League champions have no desire to sell.
Sir Alex Ferguson had already accused Real of having no morals, but United finally cracked after Madrid coach Bernd Schuster’s claim that the Spanish champions had made signing the Portugal winger their top priority.
United released a statement that claimed they will report Real to Fifa, world football’s governing body, if there are any more attempts to unsettle Ronaldo, who has hardly helped settle the dispute with his claims that it would be a dream to play in Spain in the future.
The statement on the club’s website said: “Manchester United have watched with growing irritation the comments attributed to Real Madrid over their alleged desire to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The facts are: the player is on a long-term contract and his registration is held by Manchester United. The player is not for sale.
“The club will have no alternative but to report Real Madrid to the world governing body, Fifa, if they continue to behave in this totally unacceptable fashion.
“These public attempts to unsettle the player are completely against the regulations and the club will not tolerate them any longer.
“In addition, the club is certain that they are a distraction for the Portuguese national squad as they prepare for the European Championships.
“No one should be in any doubt that Manchester United will do everything in its power to keep its best players.”—AFP
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