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Marc 06-29-2006 02:25 AM

Ronaldo linked with Madrid move
 
Cristiano Ronaldo has said he would leave Manchester United for Real Madrid, Spanish paper Marca claims.
"I've told my agent I'm prepared to go. I dream of playing for Madrid," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Real presidential candidate Juan Miguel Villar Mir has targeted Ronaldo but a United spokeswoman said the plan is nothing more than electioneering.

"He'll be a United player next season. Unfortunately these tactics seem common in elections of this nature," she said.

The spokeswoman added: "Cristiano Ronaldo has signed a long-term contract with Manchester United, which runs until 2010."

According to Marca, the Portuguese winger claims he would open talks with presidential candidate Villar Mir if he wins the club election on Sunday.

Villar Mir is a former Spanish finance minister and vice-president of the club.

He is running for the presidency with former world rallying champion Carlos Sainz as his vice-presidential candidate, and claimed United knew all about his interest in Ronaldo.

"Manchester United know that we are talking with him," he said.

"We have gone in 'through the front door'."

But United utterly denied any contact with anyone in Madrid over the player.

"Manchester United are astonished with Juan Miguel Villar Mir's comments," said a club statement.

"There has been no contact between Manchester United and his election team or Real Madrid, and any suggestion there has been is incorrect."

Villar Mir faces competition for the presidency from former president Lorenzo Sanz, along with three others.

And as the battle for the 65,000 votes hots up, Sanz claimed on Tuesday he has agreed a deal with Inter Milan owner Massimo Moratti to take Adriano to the Bernabeu if his bid for control is successful.

Meanwhile, Arturo Baldasano, a lawyer who unsuccessfully contested Madrid's previous election two years ago, vowed to bring England's out-going coach Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager.

He has also talked about signing Arsenal duo Cesc Fabregas and Jose Antonio Reyes, as well as Real Betis winger Joaquin and Lyon midfielder Mahamadou Diarra.

Villar Mir has previously said he had spoken to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about taking over as Madrid coach.

And if he has set about trying to lure Portuguese winger Ronaldo, it mirrors the way Florentino Perez won the club election in 2000, on the promise of signing Luis Figo from bitter rivals Barcelona.

Ronaldo claimed he had had contact from other parties other than Villar Mir's.

"Other candidates wanted me to sign a document which is not legal," said Ronaldo.

"Villar Mir has promised me he will talk to the club and all we have done is talk through an agent.

"They have explained to me their plans and the next step is they will talk to Manchester United to open negotiations.

"Villar Mir's project is serious and follows correct procedures."

Ronaldo, who is in a race to be fit for Portugal's World Cup quarter-final against England on Saturday, joined United from Sporting Lisbon for 12m in August 2003


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