Date: 17th June 2008 at 9:50am
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The Times reports that Cristiano Ronaldo will do everything in his power to engineer a move away from United. That could include a formal transfer request and he might not report to pre-season training.

The newspaper quotes a source close to Ronaldo who says the winger has made up his mind and wants to leave Old Trafford, whatever it takes. He considers Real Madrid a bigger club (though nothing supports this, apart from their success in the ’50s) and is lured by the Spanish lifestyle.

Real, who were given a warning by FIFA but were let off as the world’s governing body said the documents submitted by United had not contained anything that would amount to evidence of wrongdoing, prepare an official Ł60m bid for Ronaldo which hopefully does not include any of their useless players who failed to make past the last 16 of the Champions League in five consecutive seasons.

Of course one does not know what to believe but one thing’s certain: if Ronaldo does not report for pre-season training and practically blackmails the club that made him then I’ll lose the little respect I still have for him and his abilities. That would be c***ness of the highest calibre.

It’s not only me who does not understand why another couple of seasons at Old Trafford are such hardship for a 23-year-old player who’s still got about 10 years of career ahead of him. Why is he so eager to ruin his career at Real Madrid – who, I repeat, were particularly unsuccessful in recent years and do not resemble a club which is going in the right direction – where so many once great but at least very useful footballers deteriorated pathetically?

If he does choose this way, if he refuses to accept that United wouldn’t sell then he will probably booed whenever he next turns up at Old Trafford. In a few weeks’ time, we’ve gone a long way from ‘Viva Ronaldo’. This summer tastes very bitter so far, after all the sweetness of the spring.