Real Madrid are reportedly willing to let Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club if they receive the £80m they paid for him.
Ronaldo will play his last home league Clasico this Saturday with his slow divorce from Real Madrid coming to an inevitable conclusion next May.
That’s the opinion of sources close to the Spanish club he joined in 2009 — and it’s a theory backed by the fact that Real Madrid snubbed the London première of the player’s film last Monday.
Ronaldo goes into the game against Barcelona having failed to score in 12 of the 18 games he has played for club and country this season, but the seeds of separation have more to do with the player’s relationship with the club than his form.
Ronaldo tweeted: “Great coach and amazing person. Hope we work together next season”, along with a photograph of himself and Ancelotti before the sacking was confirmed. Players and staff at the club already knew that Ancelotti would not be kept on and it was seen as a clear message to the president who had decided to fire the Italian and hire Rafa Benitez.
If the club thought Ronaldo was taking them on over Benitez’s appointment, the player interpreted the new manager’s comments in much the same way when Benitez made a point on several occasions in Press conferences of refusing to say that he thought Ronaldo was the best player, first at the club, and then, that he had coached.
Ronaldo’s relationship with Benitez is strained by footballing differences. The 55-year-old Spaniard has shown no intention of building the team around Ronaldo or playing the attacking style of football he thrives on. The Portuguese superstar has been tipped to depart the Bernabeu, with Manchester United and PSG ready to go toe-to-toe to land him.
United hope the emotional lure of a return to Old Trafford would swing in their favour, but Ronaldo has made no secret of his desire to seek a new challenge.
He moved to Real in a whopping deal six years ago and the Spanish giants are aware his status has not fallen since then. According to the Sun, Real are privately hoping to receive a monster bid that will force them to do business.
Chelsea are also thought to be keen on Ronaldo but it is United and PSG who are leading the race. Following Real’s Champions League clash with the French champions, president Nasser El-Khelaifi hinted the club would move for Ronaldo. “Ronaldo has a contract with Real and we respect that,” he said. “Negotiations would be in secret but nothing for now.
Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday night, the Portuguese also refused to rule out a possible switch back to Old Trafford. “I’m a huge supporter of Manchester United — as I say many times, I’m very comfortable in Real Madrid now, I feel happy . . .
“But as people know I like Manchester United, I love that club, but (the) future, nobody knows. But right now I feel good and I feel happy in Real Madrid.”
Publicly Real have made out to be upset by the doubts expressed by Ronaldo but privately they are hopeful of finding a buyer who will come as close as possible to the £80million they paid for him six years ago.
They want to rebuild and a Ronaldo windfall will help them do that. Despite not attending the London premiere of his film Real Madrid are aware of its content.
Last season Ronaldo caused controversy when he had a high profile 30th birthday party the night Real Madrid had been beaten 4-0 by Atletico Madrid.
Some at the club were not pleased to see footage from that party in the film. Ronaldo has publicly admitted not wanting to move to Qatar or MLS yet and believes he has another four years at the top in European football. “I want to finish with dignity,” he said this week.
As his relationship with Real Madrid becomes ever more difficult, a dignified finale to an extraordinary career in European football looks increasingly like it will come easier to him if he leaves the club. — The Mirror.
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