The transfer window is open again, and again, Ronaldo is being linked with a move away from the club. His open admiration for the Spanish game doesn’t help matters, it has to be said, with the every day hacks not needing any encouragement to link the winger with Real Madrid.

However, United have been on the defensive today, with both David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson strongly denying the rumours. “There’s no chance of us selling him. Absolutely no way, whatever the money,” said Gill in the morning papers. “He signed a new contract last season to 2012 and we are not a selling club. Alex Ferguson has never let a player go when he was not happy to do so. Cristiano is happy here. Alex and Carlos Queiroz know his mind and what he’s about.”

Alex Ferguson backed up the point of view later in the day, saying “we have never spoken to an agent. David Gill has made that quite clear and he is right. This is such a piece of nonsense. Why would we sell Ronaldo? Because it is Ronaldo and he is one of our best players, we have to respond to it. We don’t want the fans to think that we would even consider it. David Gill is absolutely 100 per cent correct. We only sell the players we want to sell.”

Geddit, Ronaldo’s not for sale! But then, weren’t we saying the same thing about United a couple of years ago?