Real Madrid chief Calderón says Cristiano Ronaldo chase still on
Despite Manchester United's insistence last week that Cristiano Ronaldo will be staying at Old Trafford, Real Madrid's pursuit of the player has not flagged.
Real president Ramón Calderón believes United's latest comments are simply another negotiating tactic to boost the player's price.
Sir Alex Ferguson may have met with Ronaldo for talks last week and then stated that the 23-year-old would not be sold, but Calderón remains determined to get his man and his optimism is clear.
"This type [of transfer] is hard, but we're going to go for it all the same," he told the Spanish press on Monday. "I suppose it's all about a manner of theirs to let us know clearly that they're not going to lower the price in any way and that if we want him we have to pay a lot more money."
Calderón also has allegedly responded to questions about Ronaldo from Real Madrid players by telling them: "Don't worry, we have it all sorted."
Calderón will probably have drawn encouragement from comments made by Ronaldo himself at the weekend in the U.S., where he is recuperating from an operation on his injured ankle. Speaking of his future on ESPN, he again refused to commit himself to United.
"I've had hundreds of questions about Manchester United and Real Madrid," he said. "What do you want me to say? That I'm going or I'm staying? I don't know about the future, only God knows it. I can't say any more."
Great players are always hounded by great clubs," he continued. "It's a normal situation. There are other great players who are in the market who are good and who other clubs want. I have always been hounded, not only this year. It's not strange for me, to see what happens."
However, when asked whether he could stay happy and motivated at Old Trafford, he did at least say: "I want to be happy regardless of where I play. I can be happy everywhere, if I am with people I like, if I am animated, motivated."
"Am I motivated to continue at United?" he continued. "I am always motivated regardless of what team I play for. I am ambitious and I want to always improve. I don't know the future, but I will be motivated. There are many titles that we haven't won yet. We can always get better."
Meanwhile, United chief executive David Gill says Ronaldo will not receive a pay rise. Asked if Ronaldo would be offered a new contract, Gill said: "No. He only entered into the previous contract 18 months before and in terms of where he's at in our wage hierarchy he's doing pretty well."
And asked if Ronaldo's behavior this summer was in part an attempt to exact a bigger salary from United, Gill said: "Possibly, but not necessarily, and if the figures bandied around that Real Madrid are talking about are true, we wouldn't go anywhere near that. That would be lunacy."