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United edge closer to Ronnie deal

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ByEurosport
23/06/2003 at 15:28

England champions Manchester United are favourites to sign PSG forward Ronaldinho once again after Spanish giants Barcelona withdrew from the race for the Brazilian star on Monday. Follow Ronaldinho's match with Brazil against Turkey in the Confederations Cup LIVE on eurosport.com from 21:00 cet!

England champions Manchester United are favourites to sign PSG forward Ronaldinho once again after Spanish giants Barcelona withdrew from the race for the Brazilian star on Monday. Follow Ronaldinho's match with Brazil against Turkey in the Confederations Cup LIVE on eurosport.com from 21:00 cet!

NEWS: Rijkaard in Barcelona talks, Antic to leave!

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After missing out on England skipper David Beckham, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is resigned to suffering another setback by failing to land Ronaldinho.

"We want Ronaldinho", Barcelona vice-president Sandro Rosell said, "but our offer is lower than Man United's and Real Madrid's, who have both offered 20 million euros, and we are not going to enter into a fight between them.

"Paris St-Germain now have new owners as well who want to keep the player, which makes it more difficult", Rosell added.

Barcelona's decision makes the situation clearer: either the Brazilian joins United this summer or he signs for Madrid in 12 months time.

"The transfer of Ronaldinho to Real Madrid is not possible this year", Real chief Florentino Perez announced on Sunday, "but next year it could be.

"At the moment, we have three non-EU players here so we cannot bring in another," Perez explained.

Real Madrid are reportedly in the process of negotiating with PSG's new president Francis Graille over the possibility of the French club keeping Ronaldinho for one more year.

But the Brazilian star has made no secret that he wants to leave Paris this summer, especially if a big team playing Champions League football is interested. England champions United would clearly fit the bill.

Even if Ronaldinho admits he'd prefer to play in La Liga, his overwhelming desire to move on should see him moving to Old Trafford. That's what he surely told United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who broke off his holidays to meet the Brazilian near Paris last week.

PSG are believed to be fuming at Ronaldinho's secret meeting with Fergie, and Graille is bound to dig in his heels. But with the French club facing a freeze on transfers unless they sell - and new coach Vahid Halilhodzic desperate for funds to bring in new talent - United appear to hold the aces.

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