Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says Cristiano Ronaldo is very “strong-minded” and “likes” Manchester United.
Speaking to talkSPORT Calderon, who brokered the deal to take Ronaldo to Real from United in 2009, says it will be a big mistake if Real do not fight to keep the 32-year-old forward.
After last Friday’s news that Ronaldo wants to leave Spain after being accused of tax evasion, United, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich have all been linked with the Portugal star.
Bayern have since denied their interest in the player, who is believed to feel persecuted by the Spanish authorities after being accused of evading £12.8million in tax.
Calderon thinks Ronaldo will stay in the Spanish capital, but has admitted “when he decides something he goes through with it”.
“It would be a big mistake if [president] Florentino Perez doesn’t try to keep him with us,” he told talkSPORT. “It took me a long time and a big effort to sign him when Man United didn’t want to let him go. We have to keep him.
“I think he will stay. I hope so. It would be very bad business to sell him. It doesn’t matter what we can get for him. There is no replacement for him. I don’t see anybody in world football who can substitute for him.”
Calderon also admitted that Ronaldo holds his former club in very high regard, but is still dubious whether the player genuinely want out.
“He is very strong-minded and when he decides something he goes through with it. The point now is whether he really has decided to leave,” added Calderon.
“He likes Manchester United — that is something we all know. One year before he was going to come [in 2008], he told me that he was really grateful to Manchester United, the fans, the people there, his teammates — everything in the city.”
Current president Florentino Perez, who will continue in the role at Real, will speak about Ronaldo tonight.
The Madrid electoral board met overnight and, with no other candidate putting themselves forward for election ahead of the deadline, it was confirmed that the long-serving Perez would continue in the role, taking his overall stay in the position to 18 years.