July 27, 2006


Real Madrid claim Ruud accord

Real Madrid claim they have agreed a deal with Manchester United for Ruud van Nistelrooy, but The Red Devils have insisted they have yet to sanction the sale.

The Dutch striker is looking to leave Old Trafford after falling out of favour with Sir Alex Ferguson towards the end of last season.

He had been courted by German giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and it seems as if the Spanish titans have won the race for his signature.

Real have issued a statement on their website claiming the Dutchman has struck a three-year deal and they expect to unveil him before the media on Friday.

Van Nistelrooy is set to undergo a medical on Friday, ahead of a 7pm unveiling ceremony.

"Real Madrid announce they have an agreement with Manchester United for the transfer of the player Ruud van Nistelrooy," read the statement.

"The player will be contracted with the club for the next three seasons.

"He will undergo a medical on Friday morning and will be presented in the evening at 7pm at the Palco de Honor at the Santiago Bernabeu."

United have given permission for van Nistelrooy to head to Spain, but say a deal has not been done.

"We have given permission for Ruud van Nistelrooy to travel to Real Madrid for a medical," read a statement from Unitd.

"But the terms of agreement are yet to be finalised between the two clubs."

Real have been extremely active in the transfer market in recent days and should a deal be completed, van Nistelrooy will join Fabio Cannavaro and Emerson at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Spaniards have not revealed any financial details, but it is likely that they have paid a sizeable fee and this could well provide Ferguson with the leverage to strengthen his options ahead of the new season.

July 24, 2006


Van Nistelrooy back in training with United

Van Nistelrooy back in training with United

Ruud van Nistelrooy returned to training with Manchester United this morning - but doubt still remains over whether the Dutchman will still be at Old Trafford for the start of the season.

After his massive bust-up with Alex Ferguson prior to the final game of the last campaign against Charlton, after which Van Nistelrooy was banned from playing in Roy Keane's testimonial, it was widely assumed the 30-year-old would have moved on by now.

Instead, after insisting he wanted no discussion over his future until after the World Cup, Van Nistelrooy's hopes of an immediate move have been scuppered, with neither Real Madrid nor Bayern Munich currently willing to meet United's £15million asking price.

Van Nistelrooy has indicated to both clubs he would be willing to join them, with Bayern yesterday revealing they had already started talks with the striker.

However, mindful of the £29million Chelsea paid AC Milan for Andriy Shevchenko, the Red Devils do not see why they should be railroaded into a deal.

Last week, Ferguson claimed he would have 'no problem' if Van Nistelrooy was still around when United open their latest assault on the Premiership title against Fulham on August 20, even though the former PSV Eindhoven man has handed in a written transfer request.

It was the same diplomatic card Van Nistelrooy played following Holland's elimination from the World Cup, when he said unless his situation changed, he would report for training as required.

However, given the breakdown in relations between player and club, it would have been no surprise if Van Nistelrooy - one of only eight players to score 150 goals for United - had backed out of this morning's session.

Instead, he joined many of his senior team-mates - including Edwin van der Sar, Park Ji-Sung and United's England contingent - at the club's Carrington training ground.

Ferguson was not due in until later, having delayed his departure from South Africa by 24 hours.

And, unless an 'arrangement' has been agreed between the pair, it seems highly possible Van Nistelrooy could be involved in the high-profile friendly against Celtic at Parkhead on Wednesday, or the clash with Preston next weekend.

July 23, 2006


Bayern make Van Nistelrooy claim

Bayern make Van Nistelrooy claim

Bayern Munich have already started talks with Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, according to general director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"Van Nistelrooy has told us he would like to play for us next season," Rummenigge told the Bild newspaper.

"We have already spoken about money with him but it would be United who will finally decide."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson told the News of the World the club had accepted that the 30-year-old wanted to leave.

Ferguson has already rejected a bid from Real Madrid for the Dutch international, who has asked to leave Old Trafford three times since May 2005.

"Ruud asked away before the Arsenal FA Cup final last year, then asked away through his representative, and has now asked away himself in writing," the Red Devils manager said.

"Quite frankly, if he wants to leave, there really is no point trying to persuade him to stay.

"I couldn't tell you why he wants to leave or why his heart isn't in it - all I can tell you is that he has asked away and we have accepted that."

However, the Scot has insisted that finding a new midfielder to replace Roy Keane, who left Old Trafford last November, is more important than replacing van Nistelrooy.

He continued: "The main issue for me is the composition of the midfield.

"When you lose a player like Roy, which was always going to happen as he was getting older, you need a replacement."

Former United midfielder Keane signed a deal with Celtic in December 2005 but announced his retirement as a player in June because of a long-standing hip injury.

Ferguson has also reiterated that winger Cristiano Ronaldo will not be leaving Old Trafford, despite his recent bust-up with club-mate Wayne Rooney during England's World Cup tie against Portugal.

"There is no rift between Wayne and Cristiano," he insisted.

"I know Wayne has been in touch with Cristiano and I don't anticipate any problems."

July 09, 2006


Time is running out for Ruud

RUUD VAN NISTELROOY will officially be told this week he has no future at Manchester United.

Van Nistelrooy's agent, Rodger Linse, plans to meet Sir Alex Ferguson and Old Trafford chief executive David Gill inside the next 72 hours.

Linse is already braced for the news that he must find the Dutchman a new club - and that the meeting is to only formulate the terms of Van Nistelrooy's departure. United are determined Van Nistelrooy will not be allowed to join any of their big Premiership rivals.

Van Nistelrooy's camp are ready to play hardball by telling United their determination to ditch the Dutch striker is going to cost them. That means Gill will be warned that he will have to pay up the bulk of Van Nistelrooy's £80,000-a-week wages because the Dutchman has not asked for a transfer.

Ferguson wants to get rid of the 30-year-old despite his 150 goals in 218 appearances for the club.

And even Wayne Rooney's feud with Cristiano Ronaldo - and the Portuguese winger's confirmation of Sunday Mirror Sport's exclusive revelation last month that he wants to quit United for Real Madrid - has not changed Ferguson's mind.

July 08, 2006


Newcastle: We'll buy you Van Nistelrooy

Newcastle united hope to persuade David Beckham to join them by making a move for his former Manchester United team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy.

As Sportsmail exclusively revealed yesterday, ambitious Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has put the Real Madrid midfielder at the top of his wish list as he prepares for a season without the injured Michael Owen and talismanic ex-skipper Alan Shearer.

Although Beckham's aides deny a meeting took place, Shepherd is desperate to land a big-name signing.

England striker Owen, a £17million signing from Real last summer, is likely to miss all of the forthcoming campaign because of the knee injury suffered during the World Cup.

Shepherd has told Beckham that Van Nistelrooy, whose Old Trafford future is uncertain, is another St James' Park target, while Real's Brazil striker Ronaldo is also on the Newcastle radar as they look to lift the spirits of their fans, improve season-ticket sales and boost marketing revenue.

The chairman wants a player who will be mentally strong enough to take over the iconic No 9 shirt from Shearer, who retired at the end of last season.

Yesterday Newcastle refused to deny a meeting had taken place at Claridges Hotel in London but they did say they were keen not to harm their relationship with Real Madrid. Real bought central defender Jonathan Woodgate for £9million two years ago and last summer sold Owen after Newcastle matched their valuation. The Spaniards have also remained in touch about the form and possible availability of Albert Luque, who had a disappointing first season on Tyneside after his £9m move from Deportivo La Coruna.

Former Spain forward Luque established himself in Luis Aragones's squad after impressive seasons with Real Mallorca and Deportivo before his move last year.

He is still highly regarded in Spain despite losing his international place and failing to live up to his reputation in the Premiership after suffering a horrific leg injury last August. Newcastle would be happy to use the 28-year-old as a bargaining tool.

With only Shola Ameobi fit among the recognised strikers, Luque currently has an important role to play in Glenn Roeder's first full season in charge. Roeder had initial enquiries about Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe knocked back by Charlton and Tottenham but Shepherd is not one to give up easily.

Newcastle are also monitoring the Shaun Wright-Phillips situation at Chelsea and will not rule out a move if he is deemed surplus to requirements. With president Sir John Hall preparing to sell his stake in the club, the hierarchy are anticipating substantial new investment which they plan to use before the transfer window closes next month.

Beckham's spokesman in Spain, Simon Oliveira, denied there had been any talks about a deal.

He said: 'David and Victoria didn't meet with Freddy Shepherd and they haven't discussed a move to Newcastle. David dropped Victoria at Claridges to have a meeting with her publishers regarding her new book. It just so happened that Shepherd was also there. But there's no truth of a meeting taking place.'

Beckham has one year left on his contract with Real and Oliveira said he is looking for an extension.

'We are in negotiations to renew his contract. All parties have shown a desire to tie up a new deal and it will come sooner rather than later. David is looking forward to a new season with Madrid and meeting and working under coach Fabio Capello.'

June 19, 2006


My first World Cup goal and the faith of Van Basten have restored my confidence, admits Ruud

By Mark Shail 19-06-06

Ruud van Nistelrooy says he is expecting a bruising encounter with his rugged Manchester United teammate Gabriel Heinze when Holland meet Argentina in Frankfurt on Wednesday night.

Heinze, who has only recently recovered from a long-term knee injury, plays in a central defensive role for his country, rather than his regular left back spot for United, and he will be in direct competition with the Dutch striker as the two teams battle it out for top spot in Group C.

Van Nistelrooy, who got off the mark in Holland's 2-1 victory against the Ivory Coast, says he is delighted to see Heinze back to full fitness but is aware the pair's club allegiance will count for nothing.

"I know Gaby well, I come up against him in training quite often and he's always a fierce defender. He said he'd kick Wayne Rooney if necessary, he wouldn't be any different for me."

Argentina have been installed as new tournament favourites following their scintillating 6-0 victory against Serbia and Montenegro and Van Nistelrooy added: "The way Gaby is playing is tremendous, but the way Argentina are playing, whoa! We saw the end of their 6-0 win against Serbia and were very impressed."

Meanwhile, Van Nistelrooy has thanked Holland coach Marco van Basten for lifting his spirits at the finals after a difficult domestic campaign at Old Trafford last season.

Despite having two-years left on his United contract, Van Nistelrooy has possibly played his last game for the club after a spat with boss Sir Alex Ferguson, and Bayern Munich, Spurs and Newcastle have all been linked with the 29-year-old goal poacher.

"The English season ended in a bad way for me and I was glad to take a step forward with Holland. It's amazing working with Van Basten because he was one of the greatest strikers the world has ever known. I still think of him as a player and forget he's my coach. It is strange, but I feel good and the spirit we have shown to reach the knock-out stages is tremendous."

After such a testing campaign in the Premiership, although he still found the net 25 times, Van Nistelrooy admitted the emotion that came over him following that strike against the Elephants almost reduced him to tears.

"It was very emotional to do something you have dreamed about as a kid. I have scored a lot of goals but that one was definitely the best."

Van Basten, who was a central figure in Holland's European Championship success in 1988, added: "You could see everyone was pleased for Ruud. This goal will give him a lot of confidence."


Podolski: Ruud for Bayern

German ace Lukas Podolski has urged out-of-favour Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to join him at Bayern Munich.

Podolski joined the defending Bundesliga champions at the end of the recently-completed season from Cologne and would love to link-up with the unsettled Red Devils star in Bavaria.

"It would be great if a striker like Van Nistelrooy would come to Munich," he said.

"He is a world-class player and I could learn a lot from him."

Van Nistelrooy's days at Old Trafford appear to be numbered after a fall out with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson but his destination remains unclear with a whole host of European clubs chasing the striker.

May 30, 2006


Milan poised for Man United raid

By D Ferguson - 29th May 2006

AC Milan are on the verge of making a move for Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The Dutchman’s days appear to be numbered at Old Trafford after falling out of favour with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Milan are looking for a World-class replacement for Andriy Shevchenko who is on his way to Chelsea and Ruud looks like he is the man to fill the Ukraine international’s boots at the San Siro.

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