Manchester United has threatened to report Real Madrid to FIFA over the Spanish club's attempts to lure Cristiano Ronaldo away from Old Trafford.
Madrid has admitted that it wants to buy the Portugal winger, whose 42 goals for the Red Devils this season helped United win the English Premier League and European Champions League trophies.
Although Ronaldo is only 13 months into a five-year deal, Madrid is reported as saying it is willing to pay a world-record transfer of about £60 million (US$118.8 million) for the winger.
Tired of seeing headlines on a daily basis about Ronaldo’s future, United issued a statement on Tuesday threatening to take action against the Spanish club.
“Manchester United has watched with growing irritation the comments attributed to Real Madrid over their alleged desire to sign Cristiano Ronaldo,” the club said on its Web site. “The facts are: the player is on a long-term contract and his registration is held by Manchester United. The player is not for sale.
“The club will have no alternative but to report Real Madrid to the world governing body, FIFA, if it continues to behave in this totally unacceptable fashion. These public attempts to unsettle the player are completely against the regulations and the club will not tolerate them any longer,” the club said.
“No one should be in any doubt that Manchester United will do everything in its power to keep its best players,” the club said.
Madrid president Ramon Calderon said Madrid never negotiated with players under contract and wasn’t going to start with Ronaldo.
“We haven’t done, nor will we do anything against the wishes of a club that we consider a friend like Manchester United,” Calderon was quoted as saying on Real Madrid’s Web site. “Our relationship with Manchester is magnificent and we will not do anything that would violate the will of a team, just as we would not like that done to us.”
Calderon said he would personally speak with Manchester United chief executive David Gill “to clear up the matter,” which he said had been manufactured by the media.
“We know Manchester doesn’t want to sell and we have nothing to say. It’s a problem between the player and his team,” though Calderon added that it would “be another thing if the team decided to sell the player.”