Real Madrid president: “All this about Cristiano is very strange”

Florentino Pérez begins fifth term in office saying he is counting on Ronaldo for next season

Eleonora Giovio

Florentino Pérez announced his fifth term as president of Real Madrid on Monday with a brief event at the team’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium in the Spanish capital, at which there was no mention of Cristiano Ronaldo or recent reports in the Portuguese media that he intends to leave Spain after the authorities brought tax-evasion charges against him. Ronaldo has been on international duty for Portugal over the last week, taking part in the Confederations Cup, which is being held in Russia. The final is on July 2.

Ronaldo in training ahead of Portugal's opening Confederations Cup match against México on Sunday.
Ronaldo in training ahead of Portugal's opening Confederations Cup match against México on Sunday.MARIO CRUZ (EFE)

Speaking on Monday evening, Pérez told the Onda Cero radio station: “It’s not a good idea to speculate. I know Cristiano, he’s a great guy, a professional. This is all very strange.”

Manchester United is reportedly prepared to pay €200m for Ronaldo, who has a €1bn release clause in his contract

Spanish prosecutors have accused Ronaldo of not paying €14.8 million in taxes between 2011 and 2014 and having used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to hide his income.

Ronaldo has denied the charges, while complaining that the Spanish media has unfairly focused on his financial affairs. In recent months he has also accused fans at Real Madrid of not supporting him.

“Cristiano has a contract and plays for Real Madrid. Whatever has happened to him and the effect it might have had on his credibility, I’m sure he will tell us about it, and we’ll see what happens,” Pérez told Onda Cero.

Meanwhile, British newspaper the Daily Mirror says English Premier League team Manchester United is prepared to pay €200 million for Ronaldo, who has a €1 billion release clause in his contract with Real Madrid, as well as offering in exchange goalkeeper David De Gea, a player the Spanish team has been interested in for the last two years. Chelsea has said it would offer Eden Hazard in return for Ronaldo, but has not mentioned any sum of money. Paris Saint Germain and Monaco have also reportedly shown an interest in buying the player.

Florentino Pérez on Monday.
Florentino Pérez on Monday.Uly Martín (EFE)

Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, is reportedly looking at ways out of Real Madrid for Ronaldo, but has not confirmed a deal with any team.

In recent days, Real Madrid has sought to play down reports that Ronaldo wants to leave Spain, saying that following Real Madrid’s Champions League win in Cardiff on May 28, the Portuguese striker was excited about the future and continuing to work under coach Zinedine Zidane.

Sources at Madrid say they doubt Ronaldo really wants to leave, pointing out that no team has approached the club, and that if the Portuguese player wanted to go, he would discreetly have arranged a deal and then presented it to Real Madrid.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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