Cristiano Ronaldo has once again reaffirmed he is ‘at the right club’ amid an increasing belief within Real Madrid that they will sign the Portugal winger in the summer.
Ferguson wondered aloud ‘how many times’ more he would have to endure this line of questioning before describing the continued speculation as ‘pathetic’. Ronaldo shrugged and said: ‘We always have this question.’
The 23-year-old simply repeated the position he has stuck to since reaffirming his commitment to United last summer after a face-to-face meeting with Ferguson appeared to stop the rumblings linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
‘I am happy at this club. I think it is the right club,’ said Ronaldo.
Sportsmail understands that the Spanish giants are sure they have the foundations of a deal in place with the player and with the English and European champions.
Madrid’s proposed deal includes a £75m transfer fee – to include a down-payment of more than £50m – and wages in excess of £200,000-a-week for Ronaldo. They believe this is now acceptable to United and to the player.
But United continue to deny that there is an agreement and are sticking to their very public stance that Ronaldo is not for sale.
At the Club World Cup last December, Ferguson claimed he would not sell Real ‘a virus’, a position that does not appear to have softened judging by his latest pointed response.
One of the reasons Ronaldo is said to favor a move to La Liga is that he has become fed up of being targeted by opposition defenders, eager to stop the former Sporting Lisbon star by whatever means possible.
And Ronaldo said he had suffered the same treatment since arriving in England six years ago. ‘It has always been like that,’ he said. ‘It is not only this season that defenders have kicked me to try and stop me. It is just normal.’
Ronaldo played a major role in taking United back to the top of the Barclays Premier League on Sunday with his two-goal haul against Aston Villa that took his seasonal tally to 20. United are now a point ahead of Liverpool, with a game in hand.
‘We are the best team in England,’ Ronaldo said.’We have shown that by being top of the table. That speaks for itself. We respect all our opponents but if we carry on winning, we will win the title again.’
Indeed, United are still on track to record an unprecedented quintuple, with Ronaldo not quite being as dismissive about the project as Ferguson.
‘We have a chance to win everything this season,’ said Ronaldo. ‘First we have to beat FC Porto. After that, we must carry on.’