Ronaldo, Ferguson meet in Lisbon as ManU buys time

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London, July 18 : Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo met Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson in Lisbon to discuss his future.

The Portuguese winger met Ferguson in Lisbon at the start of last week; The Independent quoted sources, as saying.

It was widely denied that Ferguson had been to Portugal last week; in fact, the Scot was understood to have postponed a trip. However, sources said that he did meet Ronaldo, although details of their conversation are not in the public domain.

A more realistic view would be that Ferguson was prepared to sanction a transfer in one year's time.

Either way, that the meeting took place would demonstrate that relations between Ferguson and his self-regarding prodigy are not quite as bad as had been thought.

It is understood that United officials were dubious about just how vital it was for Ronaldo to undergo ankle surgery this summer. Some assessments said that the player could have delayed for up to 12 months without any major detrimental effect on his performance.

Nevertheless, Ferguson was in good spirits on Thursday when he departed - without the injured Ronaldo - for the club's pre-season tour of South Africa and Nigeria.

The assumption had been that Ferguson had not seen the player face-to-face since he departed to join up with Portugal's Euro 2008 squad in late May.

Now at least it seems there has been contact, which will give Ferguson some cause for relief as he heads off for the trip, which lasts until July 28.

Ronaldo himself has been in Los Angeles over the last few days, a place he evidently believes suitable for his new profile.

ANI

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