Alex Ferguson: 'I don't hold a grudge against Cristiano Ronaldo'

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson holds no grudges against Cristiano Ronaldo for quitting Manchester United for Real Madrid.

After spending all last season insisting he would not let Ronaldo leave for the Bernabeu, Ferguson eventually bowed to the inevitable when Real agreed to cough up a world record £80million transfer fee for the 24-year-old.

It ended a six-year association with the Old Trafford outfit, during which time Ronaldo has been transformed from a raw teenager with too many flicks to become the best player in the world.

While Ferguson is understandably disappointed to lose a player of such talent, Ronaldo heads to Spain with his best wishes.

"I had a good relationship with the boy but I never, ever thought we were going to keep him for a long time," said Ferguson. "We are proud and pleased to have him for six years. He has had this opportunity to take another challenge and I respect him for that.

"He was a fantastic player for us, a good lad and gave us no problems. We wish him well."

Given the sum United received in return it is little wonder Ferguson feels so content about the situation.

However, having the cash and spending it have proved to be too different things.

Ferguson was keen to lure Karim Benzema to Old Trafford, only to find Real Madrid's cheque-book open again to snare the Lyon star, which led United instead to make their shock move for Michael Owen.

And, with the additional arrivals of Antonio Valencia from Wigan and Gabriel Obertan from Bordeaux, Ferguson claims his dealings for the summer are done.

"That is the end of our business," he said.

Such a statement is unlikely to go down well on the Stretford End, although he quickly made it clear the decision not to spend further is his alone.

"I can only placate the fans this way and say I am not going to be stupid," he said. "We have got that wonderful sum of money from Real Madrid but there was no way we were going to throw it away and put an extra nought on the end of the transfer which I didn't think was value.

"Some of the numbers being tossed about are sky-high, not just in England but across Europe. For some reason it seems to have caught fire this summer and it has been very difficult to get value."

However, anyone believing United will not be competitive should beware.

In making his bold statement about no more signings, Ferguson has assessed the players at his disposal and decided the likes of Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda have the ability to make an impact at the highest level.

"There is no need for any knee-jerk reactions. We have a good squad and we are still going to be very strong next year."