Real borrow for Ronaldo

MADRID - Real Madrid will borrow ß70 million (about R910million) from Spain's largest bank, Santander, to help finance the purchase of Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, Spanish radio said yesterday.

MADRID - Real Madrid will borrow ß70 million (about R910million) from Spain's largest bank, Santander, to help finance the purchase of Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, Spanish radio said yesterday.

But the loan will not be enough to cover the transfer fee, radio station Cadena Ser said.

"Cristiano Ronaldo already has an agreement with Manchester to leave for Real at the end of the season for a reasonable sum," the station said, without indicating its sources.

Spanish sports media have said for several weeks that the 23-year-old was set for a move to the Spanish champions, despite repeated denials.

Real tracked Ronaldo all of last summer following his Champions League and English Premier League triumphs with the English club before United boss Alex Ferguson emphatically vetoed his departure.

But the AS daily, a newspaper close to Real, said last month that Ronaldo will join the club in the summer for ß85 million under a secret pact made between then Real president Ramon Calderon, the player and his agent Jorge Mendes.

After picking up the 2008 Fifa World Footballer of the Year award last month, Ronaldo told Spanish public television station TVE that he was learning Spanish, further fueling speculation of a possible move. - Sapa-AFP

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