On Friday morning, the Portuguese newspaper A Bola raised eyebrows with their report claiming Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Real Madrid this summer.
"Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Spain," is the headline on the front page of today’s A Bola.
Nonsense to sell a few papers - or something more serious?
Spanish newspaper Marca, one of the country’s pro-Madrid publications, have done some digging over the past few hours and confirmed the unthinkable.
Ronaldo *has* informed his current employers that he wishes to leave this summer - but what has caused this unexpected decision from the Portuguese superstar?
Why Ronaldo wants to leave Real Madrid
Marca claim that during a conversation with those at the head of the club, Ronaldo “expressed his annoyance and outrage at the treatment received regarding the complaint from the Prosecutor's Office concerning the player's alleged tax fraud.”
In case you missed it, Ronaldo has been accused of defrauding €14.7 million from the Treasury this week - an accusation that he strenuously denies.
Shortly after that story leaked earlier this week, Madrid published a statement on their official website in support of the 32-year-old.
“Real Madrid CF shows their full confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding compliance with their tax obligations,” the statement read.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has always shown since his arrival at Real Madrid CF, in July 2009, a clear will to fulfill all his tax obligations.
“Real Madrid CF is absolutely convinced that our player Cristiano Ronaldo will prove his total innocence in this process.
“Real Madrid CF hopes that the Justice will act as quickly as possible so that its innocence can be demonstrated as soon as possible.”
Ronaldo feels he's being used as an example
Marca add Ronaldo “considers that he has been used as an example in an unfair and disproportionate way, when he tried to solve possible errors with his taxes voluntarily.”
How Real Madrid are reacting
Real Madrid are now attempting to persuade Ronaldo to reverse his decision, urging him to calm down and think carefully.
However, the Spanish giants are not prepared to hold any player against their will, and the thought of netting up to €200 million by selling him means it wouldn’t be a complete disaster if he was to leave the Bernabeu over the coming weeks.
Only two clubs can afford to sign Ronaldo
Marca understand that Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are the only clubs in Europe who could afford to pay Madrid’s asking price and Ronaldo’s salary.
Is this the summer that Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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