Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sell Them A Virus

Its summer. That means that the weather gets hotter, the days get longer, and Real Madrid tries to sign Ronaldo.

I got sick of it last season, reading all the reports of what Real Madrid said, what Fergie said, and what Ronnie said. I was thoroughly sick of Ronaldo. I was angry at him and thought he owed it to the club to stay out his contract. He said some pretty petulant things to the media and I think the people hurt most by it were the fans.

If you Google the club today you see headlines that are a little different than what you might be familiar with. Usually you see a tug of war between Real Madrid and United with one saying a deal had been made and the other saying a deal was out of the question.

Today I see headlines like, "Real offer United olive branch," "Perez builds bridges with United," and "Madrid target Man Utd friendship." It seems like Real Madrid president Florentino Perez doesn't want to completely alienate a powerhouse club to transfer one player, which might have been a logical conclusion to make say....last summer. BBC Sport quotes Perez as saying, "If I had to choose between the friendship with United and Ronaldo, I would choose the friendship."

I think its crap personally. I think Real Madrid will continue to try and poach players.

But this isn't what disturbs me.

I saw something else, an article titled "Manchester United Want £75 Million For Cristiano Ronaldo - Report." I did a double take, because this goes against everything I'd previously heard. I thought Sir Alex was dead set against selling Ronnie. The article says:

Cristiano Ronaldo could be allowed to leave for Real Madrid this summer after Sir Alex Ferguson slapped a stunning £75 million price tag on the Portuguese winger, should the latest reports be believed.
According to The Mirror, Ferguson and United's economists believe that this is the right price to sell the Portuguese maestro for and are preparing themselves to receive an official offer from Madrid's president Florentino Perez in the next couple of days.

Reports ( on places like ESPN Soccernet) are also saying that Ronnie has some kind of ( secret? ) pre-contract with the La Liga club that gaurantees that he would be signed and off to Spain before the summer was out. The reports say:

Real Madrid will have to pay Manchester United forward Christiano Ronaldo a fee of around £26m if they fail to sign him during the summer, according to the Spanish club's vice-president Fernando Tapias.

Personally I hope there's nothing to all of this. I hope this summer he's smarter and doesn't mouth off so much, alienating his teammates and his fans. That it will blow over like it did last year. I like Ronaldo. I want him to stay and continue to grow at Old Trafford.

But I have to wonder... Maybe selling him would be better for the club in the long run? We wouldn't have to deal with the antics of Ronaldo. We'd use the money to get at least three other players, which we need to replace Tevez who will most likely never darken a doorway at the club again ( sadly ). The squad can be reworked and maybe have a better group dynamic than last season, where it seemed at points to falter. It might help get us out of the "1-0 win" hole that we fell into ( what are we Arsenal? ) and get back to big victories. Fergie might be smart to get rid of the whole situation by selling the winger; if there are any BIG shifts in the squad shouldn't they happen while Fergie is still at the wheel of the club instead of whoever replaces him when he leaves?

I guess I just like the sentiment that Fergie had back in December when being asked about a Ronnie transfer ( also from BBC Sport). I liked that he always seemed to stick it to Real Madrid. In that quintessential Fergie way, the boss simply quipped to the press:

"Do you think I would enter into a contract with that mob? No chance. I would not sell them a virus."

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