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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Striker Huntelaar says United are chasing him

Ajax striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar claims Manchester United are 'very interested' in signing him.

The 24-year-old's failure to agree a new contract at the Amsterdam ArenA has led to speculation he could be in line for a move, and the Holland frontman reckons the English champions are keen to acquire his services.

'I know certain English clubs are following me, like Manchester United, who are very interested in me,' he told Dutch reporters.

'I love clubs with great history like Ajax, I also love Manchester United.

'It's a club that makes me dream, especially as Ruud van Nistelrooy played there and did great things with them.

Real giving up on signing of Ronaldo?

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has seemingly conceded defeat in his pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo after admitting 'the most likely scenario' is that the winger will stay with Manchester United.

Calderon will meet United chief executive David Gill on Monday, where it is expected the English Premier League side will issue an official 'hands off' warning to Real.

The Real president told the BBC earlier today the two clubs had not met to discuss a possible transfer of the Portugal star, and claimed he never wanted to cause problems between United and their player.

Later, Calderon revealed the Spanish champions' frenzied pursuit of Ronaldo may now be at an impasse.

'He must love Manchester,' Calderon told Marca. 'Once Manchester decide they want to sell and they tell us this, then we will say that we're talking about a transfer.

'But today that's not happening and therefore this is a situation that may end up as it is now, as nothing, and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue at Manchester next year.

'At the moment, that's the most likely scenario. They (United) don't want to sell so we can't do anything.'

True to form, Calderon admitted he held out some hope of bringing Ronaldo to the Spanish capital, adding that there may be time to convince United to change their mind before the August 31 transfer deadline.

'Theoretically there's still time (for things to change),' he continued.

'There are two months left until the end of August if Manchester get in touch with Real Madrid and make us an offer.

'But still we don't know if it would be possible to buy him even if they did want to sell.'

Reports in Spain suggested United were set to test Real's resolve by offering Ronaldo for around £80million - nearly £12million more than the £67million Real were reportedly prepared to pay.

Calderon admitted that for a player of Ronaldo's calibre such sums were not out of the question, but insisted the figure was only speculation as the two clubs had never discussed terms.

'This is speculation which may be reasonable given what has happened in the major transfers in football history,' he said.

'But we never got round to talking about amounts of money because Manchester never gave us the opportunity to do so.

'He (Ronaldo) said that he would like, that it is his dream, that he would be extremely excited to come to play for Real Madrid, but it is a desire of the player that cannot be realised without Manchester's consent.'