Real still hopeful of landing Ronaldo press
Thursday, 29 May 2008

AFP, MADRID - Real Madrid is awaiting a decision by Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo on his possible transfer to the Spanish champions, but are hopeful of signing him, Spanish newspapers said Tuesday.

Real president Ramon Calderon told a meeting of the club's board on Monday that "it is up to the player to commit himself publicly," the newspaper Marca said.

Real is ready to pay at least 80 millions euros (126 million dollars) for Ronaldo and has offered him a five-year contract worth nine million euros a year, Spanish media said.

Coach Bernd Schuster told the AS newspaper that Ronaldo is "big priority" for the club and that the Portuguese striker will blend in well at the team.

"If he comes here and he scores 30 goals, we can be assured of at least another title," he said.

Since Manchester United beat Chelsea in Moscow last week to claim their third European Champions League title, media in England and Spain have been constantly linking the 23-year star player, who scored 42 times for Manchester in all competitions last season, with Real.

Spanish newspapers said Real is hopeful of landing Ronaldo as he has not ruled out a transfer to the Spanish champions, even if Manchester United wants to keep him.

Ronaldo, who has now joined up with the rest of the Portugal squad at their training camp where they are preparing for Euro 2008, has said there will be news on any move "in two or three weeks."

The newspaper El Mundo said however that some directors at the club are concerned about the price they would have to pay for Ronaldo, as Real already has debts of 250 million euros.

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