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Friday, 11 July 2008

Why a Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid move is not imminent

The oddest part of the Ronaldo to Madrid transfer (I think that it has moved past a rumour today) is that Ronaldo has not requested a transfer. But given the telephone number fees at stake it is hardly surprising.

If Madrid do succeed in a £60m transfer then if Ronaldo forced the issue he would have to forgoe the standard 10% chunk that is allocated to the player when they have not requested a transfer. Given that Madrid have carefully leaked out that Ronaldo's probable wages would not be the astronomical £200,000+ per week that some papers initially claimed it could well be that his wages at Madrid would be on a par with his United remuneration. So without the loyalty bonus Ronaldo may gain no cash at all from a switch.

Ronaldo could have his sunshine and dream club if he requested a transfer - but it seems doubtful that he would gain financially if he did. In these venal times that could be a real sticking point; and could well stop the deal in its tracks this summer.

Obviously if Ronaldo just wants to play for his dream club he could offer to play for nothing to help fund the transfer. As he's already earned tens of millions in Manchester he hardly needs the money - but that is not the point. Equally he could probably get the move on similar money with no real financial injection - but equally he seems loathe to really force the issue if he has to miss out.

Manchester United appear unlikely to blink and put him on the transfer list, as this would make the deal far less lucrative as the loyalty bonus chunk would be lost - as would the edge in the the transfer fee negotiations.

Real Madrid, it seems, need to be the ones to make a proper move, that is by faxing in a bid with a lot of noughts involved rather than giving Marca another off-the-record interview. In which case it would well be too expensive. Without the player sticking in a transfer request then a £60m bid would probably be the start point from which the price would rise; suggesting that to make the transfer affordable players would need to be exchanged. And the players that United might demand - Ramos, Casillas, Sneider - may well be the players that Madrid won't exchange.

United's refusal to blink first will not stop the transfer in itself but it does mean that Madrid or Ronaldo need to make the first move - and it will be a ferociously expensive first move. And that could well make a transfer this summer too expensive for Madrid and/or not lucrative enough for Ronaldo. Despite the screaming headlines a deal is not imminent.

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