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6 Juli 2008

Got Ronaldo? You bet

REAL MADRID president Ramon Calderon last night insisted his club are still odds-on favourites to land Cristiano Ronaldo.

Calderon will meet Manchester United chief executive David Gill in Switzerland today — although the Real supremo was at Wimbledon yesterday to see Spaniard Rafa Nadal take on Roger Federer.

And asked whether he would put money on wing whiz Ronaldo joining his club, Calderon said: “Bet. I would bet.

“It is up to the player. If he wants to come, then he can join Real Madrid.

“Manchester United are saying they do not want him to leave and they are not a club who normally sell their best players.

“But if a player wants to leave it is difficult to keep him. It is the same for me.

“If I have a player who wants to go somewhere else, we let them go.”

Madrid bigwig Calderon arrived in London yesterday and was instantly asked by football fans at Heathrow about his bid to sign Ronaldo for £70million.

He said: “I arrived at the airport and two policemen came up to me.

"One said ‘I am a Liverpool fan, and please, please take Ronaldo away from United. That would be very good news.’”

Calderon will meet Gill today in the clubs’ first face-to-face meeting since United reported the Spanish giants to FIFA for allegedly tapping up the player.

United and Real are among over 100 clubs attending the general assembly of the European Club Association — the powerful new forum that has replaced the G14 cartel — amid a flurry of conflicting reports over the future of Ronaldo.

Meanwhile, Ajax striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar claims United are “very interested” in signing him.

The 24-year-old’s failure to agree a new contract at the Amsterdam ArenA has led to speculation he could be off.

And the Holland frontman reckons the Premier League champions are keen to acquire his services.

He said: “I know certain English clubs are following me, like United, who are very interested.

“I love clubs with great history like Ajax and United.

“It’s a club that makes me dream, especially as Ruud van Nistelrooy did great things there.”

Source: The Sun Magazine