Real Madrid want Cristiano Ronaldo to tell supporters he was not forced out of the club, if he completes his move to Juventus. President Florentino Perez and chief executive Jose Angel Sanchez are wary of a possible backlash from supporters, so if they allow Ronaldo to leave for €100million (£88m) instead of his €1billion (£886m) release clause they want him to address fans and absolve the club from any blame over his departure.
The Ronaldo camp has briefed throughout the last 12 months of discontent that he felt betrayed by not being offered a new contract at the start of last season. And that he felt let down again when the contract offer finally arrived in January but was an incentive-loaded deal.
But the player and his agent Jorge Mendes will have to strike a more conciliatory note if the club are to help him leave and it was in that more forgiving tone that Mendes spoke to Portuguese paper Record on Thursday.
He said: ‘If Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid, he will remain eternally grateful to the club, the president, all the staff without exception, as well as the Madrid fans throughout the world.’
Real also want Ronaldo to partake in a ceremonial send-off to mark his career and achievements in the Spanish capital but the player is understood to favour a video message to say goodbye to his supporters.
Juventus are on the verge of pulling off one of the most stunning transfers in history by prising Ronaldo from Madrid.
Mendes met with Real Madrid on Wednesday for talks on Ronaldo’s future – and probably to negotiate his shock exit.
Speaking to Portuguese media, Mendes came as close as possible to confirming the 33-year-old superstar is on his way out of the Bernabeu after nine years of incredible success.
‘If it happens, it will be a new chapter and a new challenge in his brilliant career,’ Mendes said to Record.
Newspapers in both Spain and Italy are all in agreement that Ronaldo is on his way out of Madrid, with Italian daily Tuttosport calling it ‘the coup of the century’.
AS in Spain reports that the Italian champions are even confident of presenting Ronaldo to their fans on Saturday at an unveiling inside their Juventus Stadium. There is, however, one potential stumbling block.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Ronaldo deal is close but that Real president Florentino Perez is demanding extra money at the last minute.
Juve had struck a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Real to sign Ronaldo for €100million (£88m), reports Gazzetta – but Perez is now claiming that deal expired on June 15, and is now asking for a fee of €130m (£115m), according to Gazzetta.
The report adds, however, that this is likely to be posturing by Perez because Ronaldo has made up his mind to leave Madrid.
Ronaldo hinted after the Champions League final in May that he could be leaving Real, despite conquering Europe for the third successive season and winning his fourth European Cup in total with Madrid.
He said he would discuss his club future while with Portugal at the World Cup, but never did. Portugal were eliminated by Uruguay in the round of 16.
The transfer is being driven by Juventus’s billionaire owners, the Agnelli family, who also own Fiat and Ferrari as part of their Exor holding company. The Agnellis want Ronaldo to be the worldwide face of Ferrari, and Exor will contribute towards paying the Portuguese’s €30m-a-year wages.
Juventus’s share price has increased 22 per cent in the last three days, after reports of Ronaldo’s arrival started to emanate. Club capital, meanwhile, has risen from €665m to €825m.
The transfer bid is being led by Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli, and Madrid-based newspaper Marca – which has close ties to Real Madrid – report that Ronaldo has already said ‘yes’ to Agnelli. AS splashes with ‘Cristiano exit is imminent’.
Mundo Deportivo, the Barcelona-based paper, perhaps gleefully says ‘Bye CR7’.
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