Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to pay a king's ransom of £150,000 a week to keep Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford until 2014, media reports said Sunday. Real Madrid spent much of the summer courting the Portuguese forward and United were furious at the Spaniards' constant efforts to prise him away.
But Ferguson, who became embroiled in a war of words with Real chairman Ramon Calderon over the affair, said after Saturday's win over Hull in which Ronaldo scored twice that "we've got the player we want, they've not got the player they would like. Calderon promised everyone he'd get the lad and some of his comments are ridiculous. There was no question of Ronaldo leaving."
Ronaldo earns £120,000 a week in a deal through to 2012 and could buy himself out of the contract at the end of the season, so Ferguson has instructed the Old Trafford hierarchy to work on a new deal to ward off further Spanish overtures which he expects, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
"We're ready for that. We've got enough ammunition," Ferguson said. "I'm sure next summer will be a key element. He would have three years left (on his contract) then, which is comfortable enough."
Ferguson claimed last week that Ronaldo can match his 42-goal return of last season despite missing the start of the season with an ankle injury. The Portuguese winger's brace in the 4-3 victory over Hull took his total to seven, including six in six league appearances.