Cristiano new contract ?March 9, 2007
Manchester United are trying to tie Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford until 2012 with the offer of an astonishing £32million contract to the dazzling 22-year-old Portugal winger.
His clash in Germany with team-mate Wayne Rooney, who was sent off in England’s quarter-final defeat by Portugal, means he is routinely jeered by rival fans but idolised by United’s 76,000 crowd.
Ronaldo’s brilliant season – he is United’s top scorer with 16 goals and a strong candidate for Footballer of the Year – has alerted Europe’s elite clubs including Real Madrid and Barcelona, who deny a bid.
But David Gill, who yesterday flew to Athens for the Champions League quarter-final draw, has opened negotiations to extend Ronaldo’s current United contract, which runs until 2010.
Gill has already tried to divert Spanish eyes by putting a £45million price tag on Ronaldo, who cost £12.2m from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and already earns around £60,000 a week.
Ronaldo has admitted he has ambitions to play in Spain at some stage of his career, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson had to talk him around when he was ready to flee England last summer.
Madeira-born Ronaldo revealed on Portuguese radio that negotiations were underway with his agent Jorge Mendes. He said: “We have talked and I hope to reach agreement as soon as possible.
“Nothing has been decided yet but I would like to stay. You can never be certain of anything in life. I would like to play in Spain one day, but I am happy here at Manchester.
“If I don’t leave now, if I leave in two, three, four, five years I would be happy. I am at a great club.”