Barcelona president Joan Laporta responds to Cristiano Ronaldo transfer speculation

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United (Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has refused to be drawn on speculation that the La Liga giants are in talks to sign Cristiano Ronaldo out of ‘respect’ for Manchester United.

Reports in Spain earlier this week claimed Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, had met with Laporta to discuss a move for the 37-year-old.

Ronaldo informed United of his desire to leave Old Trafford last weekend, which shocked the board and Erik ten Hag as they’d counted on keeping the Portugal forward.

But, though Laporta didn’t deny the reports, he refused to entertain talk that the former Real Madrid star could wind up at the Camp Nou.

Ronaldo has taken a 25% pay cut (Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

‘Ronaldo? I’m not going to talk about players, one way or the other,’ said Laporta.

‘It doesn’t contribute anything to Barca’s interests and they all deserve respect.’

Ronaldo wants to leave United after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Added to that, the veteran has been forced to take a 25% paycut due to a clause in his contract that stipulated each player would lose a quarter of their salary if they fail to finish in the top four.

Chelsea are the primary suitors for Ronaldo but United would not countenance selling the forward to a Premier League rival.

MORE : Armando Broja issues ultimatum to Chelsea after Everton, Southampton and West Ham approaches

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