Ronaldo follows David Beckham's example

Soccer star Ronaldo will reportedly stay with Real Madrid this season although the club aims to offload several of his teammates before the imminent transfer deadline. Pravda.Ru reported before that another prominent player, David Beckham, has recently extended his contract with Real Madrid too.

Ronaldo pledged his future to Madrid after talks with club president Ramon Calderon following Sunday's 0-0 season opening draw with Villarreal, sports daily Marca said Tuesday.

"I'm very happy at Real Madrid and I want to stay for many years," Ronaldo, who is under contract until 2008, told Madrid's Web site on Monday.

The Brazilian striker came close to moving to AC Milan last week but the clubs couldn't agree to a transfer fee. Calderon has also said Inter Milan, for which the Brazilian played from 1997-2002, is also keen on re-signing him, the AP says.

Ronaldo, who threatened to leave last season after being jeered by supporters, will face competition from new signing Ruud van Nistelrooy for a place in Madrid's starting lineup.

Madrid's clear-out continued Tuesday when it loaned Uruguay's Pablo Garcia to Celta Vigo for the season. The tough-tackling midfielder made 22 league appearances after joining from Osasuna a year ago.

Meanwhile, Spanish under-21 international Juanfran Torres has joined Osasuna on a four-year contract, having spent last season with Espanyol. According to the terms of the deal, Madrid will be given first option if the right winger leaves Osasuna.

Other Madrid players appear to be on the point of departure before the transfer window shuts on Thursday.

Defender Jonathan Woodgate is likely to return on loan to the Premier League after two-year spell blighted by injury. Middlesbrough is keen to take the former English international.

Another defender, long-serving Ivan Helguera, could be set for a move to Valencia, while Denmark midfielder Thomas Gravesen is negotiating a transfer with Celtic, 20 months after joining Madrid from Everton.

Doubt also surrounds the future of Brazilian attacking midfielder Julio Baptista, who is reportedly a target of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Baptista, who arrived a year ago from Sevilla for euro20 million (US$24.4 million at the time), has said he is unwilling to leave.

Madrid has already offloaded a group of reserves to other first-division teams including strikers Javier Portillo to Gimnastic Tarragona and Roberto Soldado to Osasuna.

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