Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo signs £76m Real Madrid deal ending hopes of Manchester United return - and insists he has 'no issue' with Gareth Bale

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 15:  Crsitiano Ronaldo (R) speaks with his agent Jorge Mendes (R) after his signing contract renewal For Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 15, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 15: Crsitiano Ronaldo (R) speaks with his agent Jorge Mendes (R) after his signing contract renewal For Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 15, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 15:  Crsitiano Ronaldo attends the media after his signing contract renewal For Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 15, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 15: Crsitiano Ronaldo attends the media after his signing contract renewal For Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 15, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo puts on a pair of glasses after a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. Ronaldo has renewed his contract with the club after months of speculation. The Portugal forward's current contract expires in 2015. Ronaldo has scored more than 50 goals a season for the last three years with Madrid after joining in 2009 on a then-record transfer of euro93 million from Manchester United.(AP Photo/Paul White)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo puts on a pair of glasses after a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. Ronaldo has renewed his contract with the club after months of speculation. The Portugal forward's current contract expires in 2015. Ronaldo has scored more than 50 goals a season for the last three years with Madrid after joining in 2009 on a then-record transfer of euro93 million from Manchester United.(AP Photo/Paul White)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s studs-up training ground lunge at Gareth Bale on Friday will not be an issue between the players, according to Carlo Ancelotti’s English assistant Paul Clement on the day that Real Madrid secured their Portuguese superstar’s long-term future.

Ronaldo, 28, signed a five-year, £76m deal yesterday that puts him ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the best-paid footballer in the world. His decision to agree a new contract with Madrid puts an end to Manchester United’s attempts to lure him back – “Manchester is in the past,” he said yesterday – and means that the world’s two most expensive players will play in tandem for the foreseeable future.

Clement, who worked with Ancelotti at Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain and is now a coach at Madrid, said the club was satisfied that Ronaldo’s robust challenge on Bale in a training session on Friday “looks worse on camera than it was”.

Speaking after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Villarreal, in which both players scored, Clement said: “There’ll be no issue between those two. None at all. Good players like to work with good players. They’ll help each other to achieve things for this club, I’m sure, and they’ve started well enough. If they keep scoring together, everyone will be happy.

“He [Bale] seemed to grow when that goal went in. I’m sure it was quite a relief. The transfer was a long saga and ate into his pre-season, and I’m sure he’s got that game out of the way. Particularly to have scored as well, that’s very nice for him.

“We know he’s got that versatility and he can play left-back as well... and no, we didn’t consider playing him there, even if he started his  career at Southampton back there. We see him very much as an attacking player, and he’ll be that here, whether that’s through the middle, on the right or on the left. He has that versatility, as has Cristiano.”

Signing his new contract with Real’s president, Florentino Perez, Ronaldo said: “I will be honest with you – everyone knows I was in Manchester for six years. Manchester is in the past. Now my club is Real Madrid. This is my home, my family is here and I’m really happy here.”

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