Cristiano ronaldo (£25m swap) to real madridMarch 19, 2007
Cristiano Ronaldo was the most fouled player in The Premiership last season (now you can do your own jokes about the Portuguese diving squad) and may appreciate the warmth of Spain and the fact he is unlikely to get kicked as often and may ‘earn’ more penalties. Certainly if the example of Ronaldinho is anything to go by – he seems to be awarded a penalty if a light breeze distracts him with a defender in attendance – Ronaldo would be more appreciated by the media in Spain.
The Mirror has Ronaldo on his jolly way to Madrid in exchange for Michael Owen, with Malcolm Glazer pocketing around £10m at the same time. Whilst this would seem sensible to a Madrid team that needs a new Galactico – and has never considered Michael Owen exciting enough – it makes little sense to a forward heavy United line-up.
To solve this problem the Mirror suggested that Louis Saha would be loaned to Fulham. Brilliant! This would cut the forwards to four (we’ll ignore Bellion, Solskjaer and Rossi for the moment) and … err … unite Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney … err … and Ruud van Nistelrooy. And accept that Saha was a mistake and will be sold at a loss at some point.
Now swapping van Nistelrooy for Owen makes some kind of sense, and perhaps Park can replace Ronaldo’s energy but I can’t see how adding another forward to Manchester United’s squad helps them. Now a cash deal of £25m would be tempting but given how much Ronaldo has improved (and he’s still only 20) it would seem odd for Ferguson to let him go now.
If the new owners need the money then anything might happen but otherwise a swap deal for Owen is problematic.