Re-elected Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has described the uncertainty surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future as “very strange”.
The reigning Ballon d’Or and Best Fifa Men’s Player award winner Ronaldo has been linked with a return to Manchester United having been “outraged” by what he feels is unfair treatment by Spanish tax authorities, making him determined to leave the country.
The 32-year-old signed a new deal with Real in November and is under contract until 2021, though his unhappiness has caused an issue for Pérez as he begins his new term as the head of the European and Spanish champions.
When speaking publicly on Monday, having run unopposed to return as president for the next four years, Pérez did not reference Ronaldo when discussing the current state of Los Blancos. But in a later interview with radio station Onda Cero he revealed he had plans to talk to the Portuguese in the coming days. In quotes carried on Marca’s website, Pérez said: “I have not spoken to him. I’ve heard about the Cristiano situation from what newspapers have written.
“I know Cristiano, he’s a good guy as a professional and as a person. This is very strange and in the next few days I’ll talk to him. I must defend him at all costs, both as a player and as a person. What I will say is that everyone must fulfil their tax obligations. I have no doubt that Cristiano will be able to defend himself. What they have told me is that he has the same financial arrangements as he had in England, where he had no problems.”
Ronaldo feels he has been singled out for disproportionate treatment after prosecutors accused him of defrauding the authorities of €14.7m (£12.8m).
Madrid’s state prosecutor has alleged Ronaldo used an offshore 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.
Paris St-Germain have also been linked with a move for Ronaldo but it is United who look to be at the front of the queue for a player Bayern Munich have denied interest in, with José Mourinho reported to be preparing a record bid to bring the forward back to Old Trafford.