What a difference a single week can make in football.
Seven days ago, Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to be entirely content at Real Madrid after winning both La Liga and the Champions League and was about to link up with his Portuguese teammates for the start of the Confederations Cup in Russia.
A day later and shock reports emerged that Ronaldo had been accused of defrauding the Spanish tax office of €14.8 million.
The news that Ronaldo had decided to leave Real Madrid emerged shortly afterwards.
Furious with the accusations, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner had made up his mind to leave Spain and there was no reversing the decision.
Madrid, who released a statement in support of Ronaldo last week, have spent the past few days trying to calm their star man down.
But the Spanish giants will sell Ronaldo if he is serious about leaving - provided the price is right. They will not deliberately keep an unhappy player, regardless of his status.
Ronaldo’s sale could generate up to €200 million for Madrid, plus a further €200 million in terms of money saved on wages over the coming years.
Ideally, though, they would prefer to keep their all-time leading goalscorer for obvious reasons.
Pepe has urged Ronaldo to leave Madrid
One of Ronaldo’s teammates, however, has urged him to follow through with his plan by leaving the Bernabeu.
That teammate, according to the Spanish newspaper Marca, is Pepe.
Pepe is angry with Real Madrid
Now, it’s probably worth noting that Pepe is pretty angry with Madrid right now. The centre-back issued a parting shot at Los Blancos after leaving the club earlier this month.
The 34-year-old wanted a two-year contract extension, but Madrid were only willing to offer him a one-year deal. He subsequently left the club under something of a cloud.
With that in mind, it’s perhaps not completely surprising that Pepe has told Ronaldo to leave.
The club Pepe has told Ronaldo to join this summer
But Marca understand that Pepe has urged his compatriot to join one top European club in particular.
"The club has not defended you in conditions,” Pepe is understood to have told Ronaldo. "Let's go together to PSG.”
It was reported earlier this month, again by Marca, that Pepe had agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Ronaldo would reportedly favour a return to Manchester United this summer, but the opportunity to earn big money, compete for the biggest trophies and continue playing alongside his old mate Pepe could prove rather tempting.
Where will Ronaldo be playing his football next season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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