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Ronaldo, Tevez back to the fore

AFTER surrendering the Champions League title to Barcelona with a lame performance in Rome, Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson returns home to deal with the uncertain futures of Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo

Ferguson and United Chief Executive David Gill have been wrestling with the Tevez situation for months, pondering whether to spend 25.5 million pounds (US$40.8 million) to turn the Argentine forward's loan deal into a full-time transfer.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, had said repeatedly he was staying at Old Trafford but threw doubts into everyone's minds after Wednesday's 0-2 loss to Barcelona by saying "I don't know" when asked about his future.

Ferguson, fuming about his team's poor performance, wasn't asked about either player's future after the game but those questions are bound to follow as soon as the team lands in Manchester.

Although admitting that Barcelona was the better team on the night, Ferguson tried to sound upbeat after winning the English Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup and League Cup in one season.

"We've done well," he said. "It has been a long season - that was our 66th game.

"Now we have to come back stronger. That's what we do at this club. We have to accept it, we've been beaten by the better team. Next season, we'll be stronger."

Whether that's with Tevez and Ronaldo is the question.

Gill said before the game that United considered the fee demanded by Tevez' owners as too high in the light of the current economic climate. Yet there were reports yesterday that Chelsea was considering a bid of 43 million pounds for Bayern Munich's French star Franck Ribery.


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