The Catalan press have been getting themselves into a little bit of a frenzy of late over the unshakeable belief they have in Barcelona’s determination to Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. However, Vice-president Ferran Soriano today insisted that the Spanish champions have made no approach to sign the Portuguese winger.
Recently both Sir Alex Ferguson and United chief executive David Gill have rejected any notion of the 21-year-old being sold, rumours of a summer move persist, with a fee in the region of £45million being mentioned in the Spanish media.
The speculation was heightened on Tuesday when Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes was seen meeting Barça’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain at a plush London hotel before sitting next to each other at the Emirates Stadium when Ronaldo skippered Portugal to a famous win over Brazil.
"Jorge Mendes is the agent for many of our players, including Deco, so this meeting does not mean anything," Soriano told BBC Radio Five Live.
"There has been no approach to the player or Manchester United.
"In general terms, we do like to sign the best players in the world but we already have Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi in this type of position."
However, someone needs to get their story straight. Whilst it is true that no formal bid has been made, Joan Laporta, the Barcelona President has made little secret of the fact that Ronaldo is the player he covets this summer. Sport, the Barcelona based daily reported on Monday that Mendes and Begiristain would be attending the match together, however, in an interview today, Frank Rijkaard claimed that the two just ‘happened to be sat next to each other’. According to the Barcelona coach; “the seating arrangements were made by the people at the stadium”.
OK Frank, Whatever you say.
Former Barcelona VP Sandro Rosell has also had his say in the matter. The former Nike ‘man in Latin America’ claims that Ronaldo is not the kind of signing that fits with the Barcelona profile ;the now famous ‘Virtuous circle’. According to Rosell, who refused to rule running for President in the next elections, Ronaldo is already too famous and has ‘exploded’ (his terms not mine) at another club. Barcelona want stars, but stars that will peak at Barcelona, not somewhere else.
According to Rosell, the ready made stars are already to expensive and it is the selling club that is the only winner in such a situation.
Perhaps he and Laporta should put their differences aside and have a little chat as someone seems to have forgotten how this was all supposed to work at Barcelona. In other words, what comes after the Virtuous circle?