Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been released on bail following an allegation of rape, is set to play against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.

“He’s had a difficult time, obviously, but he trained yesterday and will train today so he will be okay,” manager Alex Ferguson told reporters.

Police are investing claims that a woman was sexually assaulted in a London hotel on Oct 2.

Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has said the allegation was the “product of imagination and fantasy.”

The 20-year-old Portugal international is required to turn out for a badly depleted United side.

Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Quinton Fortune, Gabriel Heinze, Wes Brown, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Louis Saha are all unavailable, while Kieran Richardson is a doubt for Saturday’s side.

“It’s just unfortunate that these things can happen, yet there’s no way you can sit down and contemplate picking a team without thinking about winning,” said Ferguson.

“And that has always been the case at this club. Tomorrow we have some changes but equally we have the same desire and winning mentality we always have.

“That’s the way Manchester United have to be. We are judged not on what the team is, we are judged on the result and the performance on the field.

“Hopefully tomorrow the young players will rise to that and the experienced ones who will be playing will help them.”

Advertisements