London, Aug 9 : Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson believes that ace striker Cristiano Ronaldo may sign a new contract and even settle down for his entire career at Old Trafford.
Shortly after welcoming Ronaldo back to the club on Friday morning, Ferguson cited Rio Ferdinand as an example of the kind of player who had found Manchester an alien environment - "Rio comes from another country. He comes from London," he said with a grin - and yet settled down to it.
Of the contract Ronaldo signed last April, Ferguson said: "Hopefully, at some point, we would like to extend it. That's where we are."
Ronaldo, right, might be only 23 but Ferguson seems to have a vision of the player, who has helped the likes of Anderson and Nani to settle, becoming one of Old Trafford's statesmen; like Ryan Giggs, through whom the club's culture runs.
"It's not easy for young people to come to our country, it doesn't matter where they go, they have to settle in, get used to the culture, get used to the dressing room and then you can see their development and feel for the place," Ferguson said.
The United manager quoted the case of Nemanja Vidic, who took a long time to adjust to Manchester after arriving from Russia with his wife, Ana, expecting their son, Luka.
"Things don't happen overnight, it's done by time and we hope that all the players we have settle here to have great careers at the club," Ferguson said.
The chances of persuading Ronaldo to stay beyond next May do not look too great and he will need to be talked into a new contract fast.
If the Portuguese does not sign an extension next summer then he will be free to leave a year after that under the Webster ruling, by paying 12.4million pounds to buy himself out, The Independent reported.