Ronaldo says strong chance of joining Real
BASEL (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo said on Thursday there was a strong possibility he would leave European champions Manchester United for Real Madrid.
"The possibilities (of going to Real) are big but it doesn't depend on me and because of that I don't want to talk about it," the 23-year-old winger told reporters after Portugal's 3-2 quarter-final defeat by Germany at Euro 2008.
Asked if there had been an offer from Real, he said: "I think so, I don't know. In the next few days we'll see if we reach an agreement.
"Everyone knows what I want. But in the next two or three days you'll have something new."
Asked when he had made the decision about his future he said: "Some time ago, before this competition. I didn't want to say anything because we were in competition and these are important decisions."
Ronaldo also revealed he had been playing with a foot injury for three months and would need an operation to correct it.
He has just won a Premier League and Champions League double with United, scoring 42 goals last season, and been named England's Footballer of the Year for a second successive time.
He was asked by reporters whether he wanted to leave for personal or sporting reasons.
"Personal, it's something I want, something I dream about," he said before quoting the advice of Portugal's Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
"(It is) a dream, a step forward... For me it's a very good opportunity. As Scolari says, this only happens once."
He added that leaving Manchester United would be difficult "but I think it could be good for both (of us)".
Regarding his unspecified foot injury, he told reporters: "I'm going to have an operation now. I have had a small problem for about three months, in my foot.
"(The operation) is going to be in Manchester. I'm going to speak with them and in three or four days I'll have the operation and then I want to make a good recovery."
Ronaldo said he had not spoken to Alex Ferguson, who unsuccessfully reported Spanish champions Real to soccer's world governing body FIFA over what the United manager saw as an illegal approach for a player still under contract.
Ronaldo's comments came on the day a senior Real figure said they were waiting for Ronaldo to make the first move before starting negotiations with United over a possible transfer.
"We are waiting for Ronaldo to say something, and as soon as he says he wants to play for Real Madrid there will be conversations between the two clubs," Real's director general of the presidency Miguel Angel Arroyo was quoted as saying in sports daily Marca on Thursday.
"We would willingly reach an agreement with Manchester United if it is possible, that is to say, if they want to sell and if the price was affordable."
(Additional reporting by Iain Rogers, Carlos Pontes in Lisbon and Mark Elkington in Madrid)
(Editing by Tony Jimenez and Ken Ferris)
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