Ferguson: Ronaldo staying put
Cristiano Ronaldo will definitely be at Manchester United next season, United coach Sir Alex Ferguson told a news conference on Friday.
Ferguson, with the squad on their pre-season tour of South Africa, said he had held talks with the Portuguese winger in Lisbon on Monday after weeks of constant speculation about a possible big money move to Real Madrid.
"The meeting went well. I think we both put across our points of view - where we stand and where the player stands," Ferguson told reporters. "I can say he'll be a Manchester United player next season. That's our stance. He won't be sold."
Ronaldo has persistently spoken of how it would be a "dream" for him to play for Real but the 23-year-old is under contract at Old Trafford until 2012. He scored an impressive 42 goals last term as United won both the Premier League and Champions League.
Ronaldo had infuriated United by continuing to express a desire to quit the European champions for Real Madrid since the end of last season. The Spanish club are reportedly willing to pay a world record 75 million pound transfer fee to land the United star, but the English club have refused to consider selling their leading player.
Ferguson added: "I went out to see Cristiano in Portugal earlier this week. It was very amicable and there were no problems, so therefore we carry on. There is no problem for Manchester United or the manager. What I said to Cristiano will remain private.
"It's not a difficult position for us. I don't know where people get this thing from. I was on my holiday and I was not going to interrupt my holiday, believe me, for the simple reason that the boy is under contract. The strength and the rights are with Manchester United."
Ronaldo is absent from United's tour due to the ankle surgery he underwent earlier this month. He had been expected to return to action in early September, but Ferguson admits that he will be out for at least three months.
He said: "He has had an operation and will be on crutches for the first four weeks, he will undergo rehabilitation for the next four weeks and then the rest will be back in training. So the time mapped out for us is three months and we are not going to do it a day earlier than that.
"When players have operations, as we have shown in the past, our responsibility is to make sure they come back 100 per cent fit and we will carry that out as we normally do. There will be no risk taking with Cristiano. We never do that anyway.
"Over the past few years, some of our players have been out for long periods of time but we have always shown that patience and the responsibility to the player to make sure they get back 100 per cent and that will be the case with Cristiano."