Friday, 12 January 2007

The door is open for Ronaldo

It wasn't really much of a revelation, but Calderón made it official today by hinting that Capello no longer wants Ronaldo in his squad and that the club is awaiting offers to offload him in the January transfer window. Ronaldo himself has not joined his team-mates in training in the last couple of days, adding to the speculation that he's on his way out.

Giving the manager his backing for this 'clean-out' Calderón wasn't totally explicit in the breakdown of the relationship between Capello and Ronaldo: "It looks like Ronaldo does not feature in the manager's plans and we have to take that into account. Ronaldo's future depends on whether the decision is taken to put him on the transfer list, but there also has to be a club that wants to offer him a contract, and the player has to want to leave; it's his decision as well. Capello thinks this is the way forward, we have full confidence in him and all he's doing is choosing those players that he thinks best fit the squad he is putting together; they can't all be part of it."

With Ronaldo and Beckham on the way out, the only player on a galáctico salary still left is Raúl. The Real Madrid captain is unlikely to be dumped quite so unceremoniously, but it looks like even he is not immune to Capello's culling (assuming he wants him gone, that is).

Of course, a lot hinges on Capello getting the continuing support of the president, which depends on the team starting to show some positive results, and on the president's own continuity, which is by no means certain to see out the season.

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