When Cristiano Ronaldo finally moved to Real Madrid it had been a long time coming. The player had asked for a move a year earlier but Sir Alex apparently negotiated a gentleman’s agreement with The Portuguese which kept him at Manchester United for another 12 months.
“Ronaldo was sold simply because the boy wanted to leave,” said Ferguson. “I did well to keep him another year. When we sat down, you could see it in his eyes. He said: ‘Boss, I just want to play for Real Madrid, it’s nothing against Manchester United. I’m going to go because it will be an experience for me.’ The only reason he was sold was because the boy fervently wanted to leave. He played that extra season, did fantastically for us, and after the Cup final [against Barcelona] came to me and said: ‘Boss, I want to leave.’ I said: ‘Right, you’ve done another year, let me consider it.’ The next day an offer came in for £80m.”
With the sort of form that Luis Suarez has been in this season there is bound to be speculation about his future. Much as it will pain Liverpool fans worldwide, they appear to be in for another summer of rumour and counter rumour in relation to the sublime Uruguayan. No player this good ever completely escapes the attentions of those clubs with blank cheques.
Accordingly Manchester City have been linked with a move by some of the tabloids of late.
We wonder whether there are any similarities between Ronnie and Luis. It’s not inconceivable that Brendan Rodgers had a similar conversation with his star man last summer. Suarez seemed so intent on leaving that he went public with his desires:
“I gave absolutely everything last season. Now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement,” he said.
But then he did a huge U-turn very quickly. If Rodgers asked him to stay another year, on the basis that he could go in 12 months, the new contract that Suarez signed would simply be a way of guaranteeing Liverpool a huge fee for the star.
But, the major difference is that when Suarez signed the new contract for Liverpool, he made it quite clear that he wanted to stay for a long time.
“When you extend your contract, you extend it because you want to stay here for the future,” said Suárez. “I signed not only for two-and-a-half more years, but I signed for a long time to stay here and I am so happy.
Let’s hope that he is as good as his word. With Suarez in the side Liverpool’s potential is limitless next season. But if Liverpool have to spend the summer trying to replace him, their other plans for investment could get less attention.
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