Ronaldo reaction: Manchester United should not panic

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The Independent Online

Former Manchester United player Frank Stapleton believes the club should not panic over the loss of winger Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

Stapleton pointed out that United had sold star players in the past and had not suffered when David Beckham and Jaap Stam left the club, or when Eric Cantona retired.

Stapleton told Sky Sports News: "I feel that money will be used very, very quickly.

"When the top players have left Manchester United the actual team has not been diminished in any way, they have gone on to be stronger again.

"The Champions League final for Sir Alex Ferguson will have opened his eyes, what Man United need to do to stay top, not only in England but in Europe."

Former Manchester United full-back Arthur Albiston believes Ronaldo's move to Real Madrid could lead to Carlos Tevez remaining at Old Trafford next season.

Albiston, who made 485 appearances for United, told BBC Radio Manchester: "Cristiano might end up staying but I very much doubt it.

"Once the club have given him permission to speak to Real Madrid, I think that will be it and he will be on his way.

"It (the news) has not come as a great shock. There were a lot of rumours last season about him leaving.

"You do not want to hold on to a player who is not going to show total commitment to the club.

"Having said that, he has been a fantastic ambassador for the club. United have had six years out of him; supporters probably do not realise that as he is so young."

Argentina striker Tevez's loan spell runs out this summer and his future remains unclear.

Albiston added: "I don't think they can turn it (the transfer fee) down. The only problem the manager has got is to find someone to replace Cristiano given the number of goals he has scored.

"When (Ruud) van Nistelrooy left, people said the manager did not know what he is doing but Ronaldo stepped up to the plate.

"Whether this might allow them to sign Tevez now and still have money left in the kitty to get other players... the manager will not have his head buried in the sand. He will be looking and scouring the market worldwide."

Former Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty believes the Old Trafford club should "cut their (Real's) hands off" and feels they should wash their hands of the Portugal winger.

Docherty, who led United for five years in the 1970s, told Sky Sports News: "I think it's fantastic business. It was £40million, it was £50million, it was 60, now it's 80 and I think they should cut their hands off and run and don't even consider about it at all."

He added: "There is no way they would sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid without Sir Alex Ferguson's say-so.

"I can only think Alex has come to the conclusion - and I think he's quite right - get rid of him because the same problem is going to arise next year again and the year after.

"And I sit at home giggling sometimes when managers say 'he is not available at any price' and a fortnight later he is gone.

"Every player has got a price and if a club is prepared to pay that price then he will go.

"When you fall out with Sir Alex, whatever may be the reasons - Beckham did it as well with the entourage he carried with him - they're on their way.

"You can't have this disharmony brought upon the players and the club every year and I think United - £80million - cut their hands off and give Real Madrid the problem of handling Ronaldo from now on in."

The Glasgow-born former Arsenal boss also believes there have been strains between Ferguson, Ronaldo and the player's agent Jorge Mendes.

"I think he (Ronaldo) has fallen out with him (Ferguson) once or twice," Docherty continued.

"Not Sir Alex's fault I might add, I think the problem (is) between Ronaldo and his agent Mendes that (leads to a) fall-out.

"It's every year; he's staying, he's going, he's coming, he's happy, he's not happy. You can't have that every year.

"Man United are the biggest club in the world: talk about Real Madrid and Barcelona. No, when you leave Man United you go downhill."

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