Ruud van Nistelrooy admits Real Madrid's preparations for the new season have been hampered by constant speculation over the future of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Whether or not the winger will follow Van Nistelrooy's path from Manchester United to the Bernabeu has been the hottest topic of sporting debate in Britain and Spain this summer.
After United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently appeared to end any question of Ronaldo leaving for Madrid, reports on Sunday claimed the Portuguese is ready to demand a move in face-to-face talks this week.
Real coach Bernd Schuster admitted over the weekend that the club have not given up hope of luring Ronaldo to the Bernabeu.
But whatever happens to his most prized asset, Ferguson can seemingly rest assured that the protracted saga has had the effect of destabilising one of his club's biggest rivals for this season's Champions League crown.
'It got a bit too far maybe, it is such an issue at the moment in Spain. It gets a bit over the top,' Van Nistelrooy said.
'A couple of our players, they made the comment that there was only talk about him and not about the current team and stars, and everybody's waiting for the next rumour without anything concrete.'
Asked whether he expected Ronaldo to stay at Old Trafford for the forthcoming campaign, the Dutchman added: 'I think so, if you hear the statements from United. It doesn't really sound like they'll let him go.'