Arsene Wenger believes it is important for Manchester United to keep hold of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arsenal boss hopes rivals keep winger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes it is important for Manchester United to keep hold of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid are determined to sign the Portuguese winger but United are adamant that he will not be sold and have been angered by the 'public pursuit' of their player.
Ronaldo himself has been fairly quiet on the subject of his future but Wenger expects him to remain at Old Trafford.
He told the Sunday Mirror
: "I think Ronaldo will stay at United because I cannot see the club making the kind of statements they have made if they have no assurance from Ronaldo that he will stay.
"Once a club of their stature say he will stay, he has to stay. If he doesn't stay you look weak, weaker than if you said nothing at all."
Wenger admires how United have handled the matter and hopes they hang on to Ronaldo, as he wants the Premier League to remain as strong as possible.
The Gunners boss also insists that Real Madrid have acted inappropriately, despite Uefa president Michel Platini suggesting on Saturday that their summer courting of Ronaldo had been 'normal'.
Asked if he would actually like to see Ronaldo head to Spain, Wenger replied: "No, not at all. I'm for stability. I want the English League to be the best league in the world and to know if you beat Man United, if you beat Chelsea, you are the best team in the world.
"It is not right what Real Madrid do, I agree. And there comes a point when somebody needs to make a stand against them.
"United have come out strongly at the moment and said 'No', and I give them credit for that."
United have said they would rather let Ronaldo rot in the reserves than join Real but Wenger is not convinced that such a strategy can last.
"You can think I'll leave this guy here if he sulks and play him in the reserves," said Wenger, who has had to deal with a similarly confusing transfer saga of his own with Emmanuel Adebayor.
"But it doesn't work. It's a good solution in theory but on a daily basis it's impossible.
"That's why in the end I said I would only sell Nicolas Anelka if he said to me, 'I want to leave'. Then if you know he wants to go what can you do with a player who doesn't want to play for you any more?"