London: Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno has played down the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the Bernabeau for Manchester United this summer by claiming the Spanish champions are “very lucky” to have the Portuguese forward.
Despite the obvious financial challenge of funding a bid for Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford for Real in a world record £80 million transfer in 2009, senior figures at United have so far failed to publicly rule out an attempt to re-sign the 28-year-old.
Alex Ferguson insisted earlier this month that it would be a “false hope” to expect Ronaldo to play for the club again, but with United striking a number of lucrative commercial deals, the possibility of capitalising on Ronaldo’s failure to agree a new contract at Real has been linked to Old Trafford’s rapidly-increasing off-field income.
Such a move appears unlikely, with Ronaldo due to open contract talks with Real at the end of the season, and Butragueno — speaking at the launch of a ‘Legends’ game between former United and Real stars at Old Trafford on June 2 — underlined Real’s desire to keep him at the Bernabeau. “Ronaldo is under contract and we are very happy with him,” Butragueno said.
“We are delighted he is at Madrid. He is a great professional and very ambitious in a positive way.”