Real’s attempt to sign Ronaldo is now ‘dead’

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has denied the existence of any agreement by which Manchester United will sell Cristiano Ronaldo to the Primera Liga champions at the end of this season. Spanish newspaper reports had claimed that a Real director had been overheard talking about the alleged accord, prompting a furious response from United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who said he “wouldn’t sell a virus” to the Madrid club.

“It’s absolutely false that there is any agreement with Manchester United on that subject, about which I am already tired,” Calderon said. “The issue is completely dead and that’s why I don’t want to talk about it any more. Manchester did not agree to sell Ronaldo to Real Madrid last summer. From that moment Real Madrid had other goals.”

Ryan Giggs, meanwhile, is crossing his fingers the draining effects of jet-lag do not have a negative influence on United’s hopes of a Premier League title hat-trick. United appeared to show no ill-effects on Thursday, booking a place in tomorrow’s World Club Cup final against Liga de Quito at the expense of Gamba Osaka.

Yet Giggs confirmed both he and a number of his team-mates were still struggling with sleep deprivation. He said: “I hope it won’t have a knock-on effect to our title defence. We don’t know how it will affect us next Friday [against Stoke]. It has been quite difficult over here. I have not slept much, four or five hours sleep a night really.

“You just have to prepare the best you can. It is a bit of a problem. We have a squad big enough to handle the games and we hope that, come that game against Stoke, we have got over it.”