ManU asks Ronaldo to display "commitment and loyalty"
Melbourne, July 21 : Manchester United has asked their ace striker Cristiano Ronaldo to start displaying "commitment and loyalty" without any new contract with a pay rise to match any offer from Real Madrid.
The winger has spent the summer making no secret of his desire to join the Spanish champion, but United chief executive David Gill believes that could have been a tactic to command a higher salary at Old Trafford.
"Possibly, but not necessarily," Gill said. "And if the figures bandied around that Real Madrid are talking about are true, we wouldn't go anywhere near that. That would be lunacy." he added.
Such was United's anger at Madrid's pursuit of Ronaldo that manager Alex Ferguson made an unsuccessful complaint to FIFA while his star was at the European Championship, the Daily Telegraph reported.
But before taking United on a tour of South Africa, Ferguson flew to Portugal last week to meet with Ronaldo for the first time since the aftermath of May's Champions League triumph.
Gill accepted that there are "some issues" to be resolved between Ferguson and the 23-year-old Portuguese, who is sidelined until at least October after ankle surgery.
But he said Ronaldo must remain on the contract worth 120,000 pound-a-week, which has almost four years remaining on it.
"He only entered into the previous contract 18 months before and in terms of where he's at in our wage hierarchy he's doing pretty well," Gill said.
"The player is under contract so the strength and the rights are with Manchester United."
The April 2007 contract was Ronaldo's third since joining from Sporting Lisbon in 2003.
"With that, we believe, go some responsibilities and obligations," Gill said.
"There was an increased salary and we clearly feel there has to be some commitment and loyalty and he can't just say, 'I've entered into it, but I'll leave a year down the line,' especially after the season we've just had. It's a two-way street and contracts are entered into with a view to getting that kind of commitment," he added.