Sir Alex Ferguson has rubbished rumours of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo rejoining Manchester United in the summer. The Sun claims the Portuguese international has agreed to take a pay cut to facilitate the return to Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old has two years left on his agreement with the Spanish champions and although he has spoken of an extension, has yet to open talks or sign a deal. And according to the report, Ferguson believes stalled talks over the extension is a major reason why his protégé will be available soon. However, the Scot's comments now seem to put a different spin on the issue.
"I don't think there's anything, as far as I'm aware, that would encourage me to think he would come back here. I don't think there's anything in that at all. He has got two years left on his contract. It could be to do with the fact that negotiations are going on for a new contract. I think maybe his agent is playing the game, though I'm not prepared to comment on that," Ferguson explained.
Madrid face the Premier League leaders in the second leg of the Champions League knock-out tie on Tuesday; the first leg finished 1-1. And Ferguson is aware of how dangerous a Ronaldo-led Madrid can be. He was in Spain in midweek to watch Jose Mourinho's men beat Barcelona 3-1, at the Camp Nou, with the Portuguese scoring twice. Madrid then returned home to face Barcelona for the second time inside a week, in La Liga, and beat Lionel Messi and co. again, this time 2-1.
However, Ferguson is reasonably confident of being able to handle the Spaniards on home territory. He admitted his side would have to be wary of Madrid's counter-attacking potential but insisted the situation would be controlled.
"I don't think they'll reach that height on Tuesday. I think it was a one-off performance. They'll still play well and we'll have to make sure that we play well. We'll be OK because it'll be a different game. Their counter-attacking was terrific. We're aware of that and our preparation has to include that, but I think we'll score, I really do," he concluded.