Ronaldinho saga nears conclusion

Last updated : 27 June 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Brazil World Cup star has asked for and been granted a transfer by the French club and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon is reported to be in Paris to complete negotiations over a transfer fee. PSG have been holding out for £20million in a bid to clear their mounting debts, but a fee closer to the £14million mark now seems to be more likely.

Ronaldinho is reported to have ruled out a move to Real Madrid because it would have involved him staying at PSG for a further season on loan due to the Spanish champions already having their full quota of non-EU players, while Barcelona refused to offer more than £10million for the player.

That left Newcastle United as the only alternative to Manchester United but the player and his agent never really seem to have taken our bid seriously despite being offered Champions League football and a massive wage rise by Freddy Shepherd.

While I remain unconvinced Ronaldinho would have been the right player for us it is good to know that the board are keen to bring world class players to St James’ Park and are prepared to spend big in order to do it. Where this leaves Sir Bobby’s plans for next season is still unclear with Lee Bowyer currently the only player definitely on his way and Laurent Robert’s reaction to the club’s apparent willingness to sell him unknown.