MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United has told Cristiano Ronaldo there will be no new contract with a pay increase to match any Real Madrid offer, and that he must start displaying "commitment and loyalty."
The winger has spent the summer making no secret of his desire to join the Spanish champion, but United chief executive David Gill said he believes that might have been a tactic to command a higher salary.
"Possibly, but not necessarily," Gill said. "And if the figures bandied around that Real Madrid are talking about are true, we wouldn't go anywhere near that. That would be lunacy."
He said the 23-year-old Portuguese player, out until at least October after ankle surgery, must remain on the contract worth $240,000 a week, which has almost four years remaining.
... if the figures bandied around that Real Madrid are talking about are true, we wouldn't go anywhere near that. That would be lunacy.
-- David Gill, United chief executive
"With that, we believe, go some responsibilities and obligations," Gill said. "There was an increased salary and we clearly feel there has to be some commitment and loyalty and he can't just say, 'I've entered into it, but I'll leave a year down the line,' especially after the season we've just had."
The Red Devils won the English league title and the Champions League in May, but defender Rio Ferdinand said he believes the team's feats have been overshadowed by Ronaldo, who contributed 42 goals last season.
"This summer, given the season we've just had, should have been a time to think about our achievements," Ferdinand said. "In the end that became impossible because of the stuff going on with Cristiano.
"The players can't wait to see him back. There won't be any problems between Cristiano and the rest of the squad, because we have always stood by what Sir Alex Ferguson has said all along -- Cristiano will be a United player next season."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press