Real Madrid striker Ronaldo was set to
undergo a medical at AC Milan before completing a deal to join the
Italian giants, Spanish media reported.
The 30-year-old Brazilian striker has been the subject of transfer talks
since the summer, with new Real coach Fabio Capello virtually deeming
the 2002 world champion surplus to requirements.
This season he has hardly featured and although Real were reportedly
still hoping to net 10 million euros (13 million dollars) for the player
they signed for 45 million euros from Inter Milan in 2002, reports from
Italy said a fee would come in nearer 7.5 million euros.
El Mundo newspaper said on its website Ronaldo was on a plane headed for
Milan's Linate airport after leaving Madrid at 1500 GMT, adding the
transfer fee would be nearer six million euros.
The clubs' lengthy negotiations had stalled over a difference in their
perception of the burly Brazilian's value, with the Italians seeking to
close a deal for five million euros.
But according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica AC Milan are willing to
pay 7.5 million euros if necessary.
Some teammates had urged the club to keep faith with Ronaldo and striker
Ruud Van Nistelrooy expressed surprise at the news the Brazilian was
already on his way.
"Is that so? If he leaves I'll be sad. For me he's still here - I
trained with him today as usual," said the Dutchman, who added. "He's a
fantastic person and an incredible player."
La Repubblica also said that the player, who starred for Inter between
1997 and 2002 - though two of those years were blighted by a series of
serious knee injuries - was expected in Milan later Thursday for a
His current contract with Real was set to expire in June 2008.
El Mundo, quoting unnamed Real sources, said Ronaldo would sign a deal
with AC Milan through to the end of next season.
The newspaper noted earlier in its print edition that AC Milan could
have had to shell out 18 million euros for Ronaldo last summer "but the
club itself devalued the product by making a number of disparaging
comments" about the player, his attitude and his fitness.