• Premier League

Sir Bobby: United have never discussed Ronaldo

ESPN staff
March 12, 2013

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton has poured cold water on speculation linking Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to Old Trafford.

The transfer rumour mill was sent into overdrive recently after the 28-year-old showed his gratitude to the United faithful by not celebrating his decisive goal in Madrid's 2-1 victory over the Red Devils in the Champions League.

And Ronaldo's refusal to sign a new contract at the Bernabeu is also seen as a sign the Portuguese star could make a return to the club where he spent six years honing his craft.

However, Charlton, a board member at United, has flatly denied the club has ever discussed any attempt to steal Ronaldo away from the Spanish giants.

"Signing Ronaldo has never even been mentioned in any of our board meetings," Charlton said. "But he did go beyond being just a great player for us.

"He was just the right sort of person Manchester United had been looking for. But I once saw Real Madrid trying to get a player from another club, and I didn't think very highly of it.

"I didn't think it was right then and I still don't now. Cristiano is a great player, who scores phenomenal goals and he loves the club - but he is not our player."

Another transfer rumour to hit the Premier League leaders revolves around the future of striker Wayne Rooney. Rooney started on the bench for the Madrid game and was seen as a sign by many pundits that manager Sir Alex Ferguson is losing faith in the England international.

But Charlton said he is confident Rooney will remain at the club, believing the 27-year-old is too important to be so easily discarded.

"I don't worry about Wayne Rooney," Charlton said. "There is no way he will ever be allowed to move on, because that is not the way Sir Alex Ferguson works.

"Wayne has been our regular goalscorer - and he scores fantastic goals. If he scores a great goal, he'll think 'right, I'll get another one'.

"Not only that, he has an influence on the rest of the team. Just because he has some competition, I don't think that is a problem."

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