So, ESPN is reporting on their little crawl doohickey at the bottom of the screen (the one all American soccer fans know and love) that Manchester United’s Christiano Ronaldo will be joining Real Madrid in the summer for a transfer fee of $111 million (rough currency conversion from www.xe.com). The original report allegedly comes from the Spanish media.
The report on ESPN noted that Ronaldo has denied the story, and United haven’t even agreed to it.
I have other reasons to be skeptical. Maybe not 111 million, but you get the idea.
1. There wasn’t enough drama. This isn’t akin to trading Buddy Biancalana from the Kansas City Royals to the Houston Astros for Mel Stottlemyre (not the older one). The Spanish report linked above states Madrid have reached a “secret pact” with Ronaldo’s representatives. There just seems to me like there would be more juice to any sort of deal where Ronaldo actually agrees to leave. This has only been the most talked about transfer rumor for the last year now – to the point where everyone, United fans included, is sick of it. Given all the hype, I can’t imagine Ronaldo is going to back up Mayflower trucks to his estate and suddenly show up in Spain with a Madrid training suit on and bust out into a little John Fogerty, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!”
2. If you believe all the rumors and articles and such, Manchester City have offered AC Milan in the neighborhood of $132 million for Kaka, midfielder Gennaro Gattuso and goalkeeper Dida; a move Kaka isn’t excited about, according to the Guardian.
Think about that for a second. First, do City rate Kaka higher than Ronaldo? And given City’s ownership and their desire to throw money into the pot faster than an internet nut playing his first World Series of Poker tournament after drinking his fifth energy drink in an hour – it stands to reason that City wouldn’t let Ronaldo leave Manchester for a mere $111 million. Not a chance – if Ronaldo is really on the verge of heading to Madrid, City are going to do what City does and step in late to try and hijack the deal – probably with an outlandish offer that gets into the neighborhood of $150 million and two free goals the next time the rivals play.
The transfer process, especially when involving English teams and the English press, is always tough to read. Reports will always pimp the deal, then call it dead, then pimp it, then call it dead, and then it would just happen. So maybe there is something to this.
But for right now – color me suspicious. I don’t know what color that is in the Crayola box, but this goes into the file of I’ll believe it when I see it.