A source close to Cristiano Ronaldo has told ESPN FC that all options are on the table regarding his future at Real Madrid.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner talked about his time at Madrid in the past tense following Saturday’s 3-1 Champions League final win against Liverpool, prompting speculation about his future, while alluding to being frustrated regarding new contract talks.
A major announcement over Ronaldo’s future is now unlikely in the coming days, with the Portugal captain taking some well earned rest ahead of joining up with his country for the World Cup, and Madrid’s hierarchy set to met to discuss their transfer strategy for the summer.
Florentino Perez said that Ronaldo remains under contract at the club for three more years still after the final.
Ronaldo said on Saturday that money was not the important issue for him, although sources close to the player told ESPN FC last January that the fact that Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar both earned more from their clubs was a factor in their thinking.
Ongoing tax issues for Ronaldo and other La Liga based clients of his agent Jorge Mendes have also complicated the situation.
Speaking at a debate hosted by the Club del Siglo XXI in Madrid on Monday evening, La Liga president Javier Tebas said he believed Ronaldo would not move this summer, but added that La Liga was now better prepared structurally to deal with the loss of one of its biggest stars.
“It is another chapter in a nice story, but he will keep playing for Madrid,” Tebas said.
“If you asked me five years ago, I would be more worried about his future. Now I am less concerned as we have worked on the brand [of La Liga], above the clubs and the big players. Nobody has said to me they will pay less [for rights] if this player or that player leaves. Neymar left and the revenues were maintained.”
The possibility of Neymar and Ronaldo swapping clubs has been specualated, and asked if Neymar replacing Ronaldo at Madrid would be a financial boost for La Liga, Tebas said the best would be for both to play together.
“It would also boost La Liga’s value to have Neymar with Cristiano,” he said. “Cristiano is a symbol of La Liga, and irreplaceable.”
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan