August 21, 2006
ROME (AFP) - AC Milan will officially bid for Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Ronaldo if they reach the group stages of the Champions League.
According to Monday's Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan officials will fly directly to Madrid from Serbia to start negotiations for the 29-year-old former Inter Milan forward if the club overcome Red Star Belgrade in Tuesday's third round qualifier.
Milan, who have been allowed to participate in European competition despite being found guilty last month of match-fixing, lead the Serbs 1-0 after the first leg at the San Siro a fortnight ago.
The Gazzetta reports that the 10 million euro (13 million dollar) windfall that Milan will receive if they qualify for the Champions League's first phase will help finance the move for Ronaldo.
Real Madrid have made no secret of the fact they would like to sign Kaka from Milan, but Ronaldo's Brazil international team-mate is unlikely to be part of any eventual deal, the paper said.
Kaka is one of Milan's most prized assets and the club have repeatedly stated that the player is staying put.
Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid from Inter Milan four years ago, was a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002.
In 1994 he was a non-playing squad member, but he scored both goals in the 2002 final victory over Germany.
Ronaldo has won three FIFA World Player of the Year award three times, in 1996, 1997 and 2002).