Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo future as Man United loom large

Simon Peach 19/06/2017
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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is set to speak about Cristiano Ronaldo’s future tonight as speculation continues to mount over a possible Manchester United return.

The reigning winner of the Ballon d’Or and Best FIFA Men’s Player award has been “outraged” by what he feels is unfair treatment by Spanish tax authorities, making him determined to quit the club and the country.

It is understood Ronaldo feels he has been singled out for disproportionate treatment after prosecutors accused him of defrauding the authorities of €14.7million.

Free-spending Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with a move for Madrid’s disgruntled star, who only signed a new five-year contract in November.

But it is United who look to be at the front of the queue for a player Bayern Munich have denied interest in, with Jose Mourinho’s men reported to be preparing a record bid to bring the forward back to Old Trafford.

Speculation over Ronaldo’s future is set to be broached later on Monday by Real president Perez, who stood unopposed for re-election this month and will now continue at the head of the European and Spanish champions until 2021.

Onda Cero say Perez will “give his version of the ‘Ronaldo case'” in an interview with the Spanish radio station late on Monday evening, while an event marking his re-election will be held at 9.30pm UAE time at the Bernabeu’s presidential box.

The Madrid electoral board met overnight and, with no other candidate putting themselves forward for election ahead of the deadline, it was confirmed that the long-serving Perez would continue in the role, taking his overall stay in the position to 18 years.

The 70-year-old, who was re-elected in 2009 having previously held the post between 2000-06, is the second most successful president in Real’s history in terms of football trophies won during his tenure, behind only Santiago Bernabeu who served between 1943 and 1978 and who the club’s stadium is named after.

Perez’s latest four-year term will begin as many of his previous ones have – with frenzied transfer speculation about which big-name players might arrive at the club and, perhaps more crucially in this instance as Ronaldo’s future dominates the headlines, who might end up leaving.

Ronaldo was a world-record signing of intent from United after Perez returned as president eight years ago, the forward being part of a £225million summer spending spree that also saw the likes of Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso move to Real.

The Portuguese has since become Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer, winning individual and collective awards aplenty during his stay in the Spanish capital.

Ronaldo is currently in Russia at the Confederations Cup, where Portugal got their campaign under way with a 2-2 draw against Mexico on Sunday.

The 32-year-old was named man of the match but did not attend the post-match press conference as required, perhaps wary of the questions that would follow.

However, a glum-looking Ronaldo did do a short post-match interview with FIFA’s in-house media.

“It was not the result we wanted, the team had almost won and we suffered in the last minutes, but this is football,” he said.

“The team continue to believe in qualification, we have great possibilities, because there are still two games left.

“We are calm and we have to think about the next game. We have to win, because if we win the next game we will be one step away from qualifying.

“We do not have to sound the alarm.”

Madrid’s state prosecutor has alleged Ronaldo used an off-shore company to hide a portion of his income from the tax office.

However, a statement from Ronaldo’s management company Gestifute insisted the company, Tollin, which was established during Ronaldo’s time with Manchester United has acted in accordance with British and Spanish tax laws.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi took a similar stance in threatening to quit Spain in 2014, also claiming he had been singled out for special treatment, when he was accused of concealing €4.1m from the authorities.

The Argentina international was found guilty and subsequently lost an appeal against a 21-month prison sentence – under Spanish law sentences under two years are usually suspended – and a €2.1m fine.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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