Date: 9th August 2008 at 9:39am
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Cristiano Ronaldo stays at Manchester United. Fergie wants us to forgive him all his shameless courting of Real Madrid. It’s not that easy.

‘The fans have to understand it has been a very difficult time for him,’ Sir Alex was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.

‘He has been offered all this money – when his dad has died a young man and he is looking after his mother, his sister and his brother.’

Come on Fergie, you know this is lame. On 100k a week he can afford to look after the entire island of Madeira, not just his family. And when he was out partying in Los Angeles it did not seem he felt his position to be difficult…

To his credit, at least Ronaldo himself did not come up with this sort of nonsense but admitted his ambition was still to play for Real Madrid and cited nothing else as a reason for his shenanigans over the summer.

‘But once he knew my stance, he settled down – and as far as we are all concerned, the matter is finished. The boy is a United player – that is what is important,’ Fergie continued.

‘We cleared the air in Portugal, and the boy spoke to a few of the players as well.’

Jolly good. Well, it will be interesting to see how Old Trafford treat him when he returns. I won’t boo him – firstly because I hate booing our own players and would never do so and secondly because whatever he did over the summer, the previous two seasons should not be forgotten.

But please, Fergie, don’t start appealing to our better nature. We can decide what we want and how we wish to treat our players. And if you still feel we need persuasion then please come up with better arguments…