Cristiano Ronaldo has sensationally told Real Madrid that he wants to leave the club this summer, according to reports in Spain and Portugal. It has also been said that he is to favour a move back to Manchester United.
It won’t come as much of a shock to say that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner has been said to feel as though the club has not sufficiently protected him after he was charged with allegedly evading over £13 million (€14.7 million) in tax by Spanish prosecutors. Despite the fact that he has enjoyed another remarkable season at the Bernabeu.
The 32-year-old’s decision to leave the Spanish champions has been described as “irreversible”, and he has already informed Madrid president Florentino Perez of his desire to leave.
At first it appeared as though Madrid had completely backed him publically, stating in their response to the fraud charge:
“Since his arrival at Real Madrid C.F in July 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo has always shown a clear will to fulfil all his tax obligations.
“Real Madrid C.F. are absolutely convinced that our player Cristiano Ronaldo will prove his total innocence in this process.”
However, pieces of a bigger picture have been emerging that suggest a different story privately, which seems to be a reason why Ronaldo wants to quit after eight years at the club.
When the news of Ronaldo’s charge was going to break, Real Madrid contacted all the Spanish media outlets to request that they would not publish any photos of Ronaldo wearing a Los Blancos shirt when covering the story, reports in El Confidencial claimed.
In addition to this, even though Ronaldo joined Madrid in 2009 and is contracted to the club until 2021, won everything with Los Blancos and has scored 285 goals in 241 league appearances, he was left out of a video promo for Madrid’s new kit.
However, there are other reasons why Ronaldo wasn’t entirely happy at Madrid.
Despite being a global superstar, he has frequently been jeered at by his own, disgruntled fans, and has expressed his frustration and unhappiness at what he perceives to be a lack of gratitude. He said:
“I spent a lot of years at Manchester United and [home fans booing] never happened to me.
“Maybe England is a case apart, the mentality is different. I’m very happy being in Spain but obviously I also miss England because you can’t just turn off the memories.”
Even though he’s older, Ronaldo is still one of the fittest athletes in today’s football, so if a club were to sign him it would still be profitable.
The problem will be in finding a club that both want him and can afford him after Madrid are demanding an astonishing £174.5 million (€200 million) for the forward player.
But there are a few clubs that could afford it, including former club Man United. But whether or not he would sign with them now after falling out with Jose Mourinho during his time as Madrid manager is another story.
Chelsea and Manchester City could also afford Ronaldo, but his loyalty to Man United would probably stop him moving to either of those. And we also have to consider the question: is he the type of player Antonio Conte or Pep Guardiola want to work with?
Another club that would definitely be interested in signing him would be Paris Saint-Germain, who are currently still looking to fill the gap left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he left last summer.
Not to forget the Chinese Super League as a potential option. After agent Jorge Mendes revealed an unnamed club had made an offer to sign him but said he was happy at the Bernabeu.
One thing seems for certain, though: Ronaldo won’t be playing for Madrid after summer.