Real step up efforts to seal deal for Ronaldo
REAL Madrid general director Jorge Valdano claims the club are already in negotiations with Manchester United over Cristiano Ronaldo.
Reports in Spain suggest that new Madrid president Florentino Perez has been in talks with the Barclays Premier League club and are on the verge of breaking their own world record transfer, of 68 million, set just a few days ago for Kaka, to bring Ronaldo to the Bernabeu.
Valdano's comments will only serve to add fuel to the speculation that the Spanish giants have upped their efforts to sign the Portugal winger.
"I can't answer any questions about him," he told TVE. "I can only talk about players who are on their way here, not about those we are in negotiations over.
"He is a great professional, he dedicates a very great deal of time to his work. He is a great footballer and a very good professional."
Ronaldo has been enjoying the close season, spending time in Sardinia and Los Angeles.
The 24-year-old obviously enjoys the trappings of his fame, but Valdano insists he is still the perfect player for Madrid.
"According to the information we have managed to obtain, he is an excellent professional," he added. "You don't get the player's body he has, which is a footballing advertisement, without working a great deal.
"Another thing is that his reputation as an officially good-looking guy, and a social or advertising model, blurs his image a bit. He is a great footballer."
Speculation has been rife in the Spanish capital about new arrivals at the Bernabeu ever since the return of Perez, who presided over the famous Galacticos era at the club.
While Real are reportedly ready to pay 89m for Ronaldo, Valdano has revealed they will not break the bank for Valencia striker David Villa. "He is an excellent striker but he has a prohibitive price," he said. "He is a player who interests us, but only at a reasonable price.
"There's a long way to the start of the season and the summer is very long – these comings and goings will be very interesting.
"They have written about hundreds of players who dream about coming to Real Madrid and it's logical that one of those will end up in the side."
However, Perez has cast doubt on his side's prospects of signing Bayern Munich and France playmaker Franck Ribery.
Bayern are reluctant to part with their prized asset and have slapped a huge 100m price tag on Ribery's head in a bid to ward off likely suitors, with Chelsea also reportedly tracking the player.
The German club's message appears to have got through to Perez, who conceded in an interview with Spanish radio that a deal would not be pursued while Bayern remain reluctant to sell.
"Ribery belongs to Bayern and (the club] does not want to sell," he said. "Therefore I have to be respectful to the club. It is another thing if they change their mind."
Former AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini, meanwhile, said the club has no chance of winning the Champions League next season after selling Kaka to Real Madrid.
Maldini said that while the move may have made financial sense, it had undoubtedly weakened the side's chances of adding to it's seven European Cups.
"Milan winning the Champions League without Kaka is a dream," Maldini said on Milan's website. "Looking at the bank account is logical, but at the start of the season you need to set obtainable objectives and without Kaka the Champions League is a dream. He is one of the five best players in the world along with (Lionel) Messi and Ronaldo. Selling Kaka was a big blow to his teammates and the fans."
In his 24-year career with Milan, the former Italy captain was in the vanguard of Italian dominance in Europe. He won the Champions League five times and helped the club to a further three finals.
However, he now feels that Italy has slipped behind other leagues in Europe.
"Kaka is the first player of that level to be sold. In the past such an idea would never have been taken into consideration," Maldini said.
Maldini does feel that new coach Leonardo will not have to look too far to find a replacement for the 2007 World Player of the Year.
"Ronaldinho will have a lot of responsibility next season. Last year he didn't surpass himself, but I think this responsibility will do him good."
AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo and Inter Milan defender Maicon have raised doubts about their Serie A futures following Kaka's departure for Real Madrid and Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's prospective move to join Barcelona.
The loss of possibly the two best players in Italy would be a huge blow for the struggling league, which has slipped well behind Spain and England in terms of appeal and financial clout. Now Pirlo, who has been linked in the media with former Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, has expressed doubts. "We have taken Kaka's exit badly," he said as he trained with the Italy team at the Confederations Cup in South Africa. "We'll see if I leave. For now, no, but looking ahead we will see." Maicon, among Serie A's best players, is even more unhappy. "For three years Inter have treated me with indifference, maybe because they are worried about keeping Ibrahimovic happy," said the Brazilian. "I'm searching for joy, at Inter or another club."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North