London, July 31 : Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo still habours hopes of joining Real Madrid, according to the latter's president, Ramon Calderon.
In remarks that could infuriate Machester United coach Alex Ferguson, Calderon claimed Ronaldo was still privately encouraging Real's interest.
According to the Daily Express, Calderon also revealed that the Portugal winger had a "contractual problem" with United and should be allowed to leave because he is unhappy.
He said: "Look, this is a problem that wasn't created by Real Madrid. Madrid are just spectators in this soap opera.
"Obviously, it's clear that we want Cristiano with the quality that he has. But there is a contractual problem that United and the player have to resolve, not us," he added.
"Will he (Ronaldo) persuade the club to let him go? I can't say that. That question is for the player, who has publicly said his dream is to play for Madrid. We hear those words with pride and satisfaction, but his departure doesn't only depend on Cristiano. United are the ones that have to sort it out and it will either happen or not."
He also said that Real were not interested in selling Brazilian winger Robinho to Chelsea to help finance the deal for Ronaldo and make space in the team.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo is expected back in Manchester next week after a visit to see the Amsterdam specialist who operated on the ankle injury that will keep him out until October.
Story first published: Thursday, July 31, 2008, 15:15 [IST]