Although Trapote’s alleged statement last month was quickly dismissed by both United and high-level figures at Real, Ronaldo’s recent lack of form -- his last Premier League goal coming against Stoke City on Nov 11 -- and noticeably increasing irritation at his treatment from both opposing defenders and supporters have done little to dispel the belief that he will once again pursue a move to the Bernabeu at the end of the season.
Ever since accepting defeat in his attempts to leave United last summer, Ronaldo has used his words carefully, expressing his happiness at being at Old Trafford, yet opting against more unambiguous statements of his commitment.
However, his assertion that he ’wants to stay,’ during an interview with MUTV, suggests that the 23-year-old might finally have accepted that his future will be better served by remaining at United, who are planning to offer Ronaldo a new contract in the summer, rather than heading to Madrid.
Ronaldo said: “What people are saying now (about a deal being struck with Madrid) is not true. Whoever says that is a liar because I am happy at the club and I want to stay here. I feel at home here and I feel very happy here.
"There’s always speculation, not just about me, but about the future of players all around the world. People were speaking about me last summer but that was normal because of what I did during the season.”
Ronaldo remains a divisive figure amongst United supporters, many of whom regard his recent displays of petulance, such as kicking out at opponents, walking off the pitch before being substituted against Sunderland last month and an uncharacteristic confrontation with Middlesbrough’s Emmanuel Pogatetz during Monday’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford, as evidence of his annoyance at being denied his wish of a move to Real.
The player’s name is no longer sung by the United fans and he was afforded only a lukewarm reception when presented with the Ballon d’Or on the pitch prior to last month’s Champions League tie against Aalborg.
It has even been suggested that United only called on previous Ballon d’Or winners Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton to present Ronaldo with the award to avoid an embarrassing silence inside Old Trafford.
Ronaldo insists, however, that he has overcome the negativity since returning from ankle surgery in September.
He said: “I think the people don’t forget quickly what you do for the club. When I arrived to play (my first game of this season) against Villarreal, I felt a little bit of pressure, but the fans were very good and this is why I feel the Manchester United supporters are amazing. Like I said before, I feel at home in Manchester.
"The boss (Sir Alex Ferguson) is always important for me, not just last season, but every season. I am at this club because of him.
"He has always helped me and I said to him, ’I want to be part of this club with you. I want to win trophies with you.’ He is very important in my career."