Monday, June 23, 2008

Manchester United 'cannot hurt' £80m Cristiano Ronaldo, warns Luiz Felipe Scolari

Cristiano Ronaldo may fetch £80m for Man UtdNew Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has warned Manchester United that "they can do nothing to hurt" Cristiano Ronaldo as Real Madrid reveal they are prepared to smash the world transfer record to lure the Portuguese winger from Old Trafford.

Madrid manager Bernd Schuster said the Spanish champions would "pay whatever it takes" to sign the Portugal international, which could mean a contract offer of £182,000-a-week after tax and a transfer fee of £80 million, nearly double the biggest transfer in football history that saw Zinedine Zidane joined Madrid from Juventus for £46m in 2001.

Ronaldo is expected in Manchester this week for an assessment on a foot injury, though no meetings are scheduled with United's hierarchy - both Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill are on holiday and have no plans to rush back to make any fresh appeal to the club's star player.

However, Scolari's comments concerning the player's future destination will not have impressed Ferguson, especially given the fact that the Brazilian and his new employers in west London will be the ones to benefit most should the player decide to join Madrid.

"It is his [Ronaldo's] dream to play for Real Madrid," said the departing Portugal national team manager. "And I am sure Cristiano will fulfil his dream whatever the difficulties."

"I know Cristiano well and I know the type of person he is so I have no doubts about how he will handle himself in the next few weeks," said Scolari, who is also said to have advised Ronaldo to grab the opportunity of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.

Record transfer fees

1905 Alf Common - Sunderland - Middlesbrough £1,000
1973 Johan Cruyff - Ajax - Barcelona £922,000
1982 Diego Maradona - Boca Juniors - Barcelona £3,000,000
1996 Alan Shearer - Blackburn Rovers - Newcastle £15,000,000
1997 Ronaldo - Barcelona - Inter Milan £19,500,000
2001 Zinedine Zidane - Juventus - Real Madrid £46,000,000


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