Tuesday, 12th February, 2013

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits that he cannot see Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid – even to return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo will come face to face with the club he left for Real Madrid in 2009 on Wednesday evening, when Manchester United visit the Spanish capital for the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie.

The Portuguese forward’s future at Real Madrid has been the subject of intense debate this season, especially after Ronaldo went public with his "sadness" earlier in the campaign. He now appears to be happy once again, but there has still been much talk that he will not pen a new contract with Los Blancos.

And speculation has even suggested a possible return to Manchester United.

Ferguson though cannot see that happening, or Ronaldo moving anywhere else.


"Everyone goes on about that but I don’t see it", he told his club’s official site, when asked about a potential return to Old Trafford.

"He’s got two-and-a-half years left on his contract and to try and buy that at the moment, you’d be talking about hundreds of millions", continued the Scot.

"It rules out everyone, including Barcelona. I think Madrid are trying hard to get him to a new contract and I think that’s happening.

"The glare of publicity he gets in Madrid is different to here. The players here, I think, are quite well protected – especially in the training sessions.

"There are cameras everywhere at Madrid as everyone knows. I think he will miss a lot of things here [at United] but that’s not stopped him progressing as a footballer. His progress has been brilliant."

Ferguson will know his side must keep Ronaldo as quiet as possible to have a good chance of making the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Manchester United have their own weapons too though, with Robin van Persie on fire in front of goal this season.

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