​Real Madrid have launched legal action against a Portuguese newspaper which insinuated that the club were aware of information relating to the Cristiano Ronaldo sexual assault case.

Ronaldo is accused of raping an American woman, Kathryn Mayorga, in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. He had just signed for Real Madrid at the time and remained at the club until he joined Juventus earlier this year.

Correio da Manhã, a daily tabloid published in Lisbon, claimed that ​Real Madrid had forced ​Ronaldo to pay off his alleged victim to ensure her silence. On Thursday, the La Liga club issued a firm denial.

“Real Madrid C. F. can today announce that the club has taken legal action against the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã for publishing categorically false information in an effort to seriously damage the image of this club,” they said in ​an official statement.

“Real Madrid has absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that the newspaper published with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and therefore the club was unable to take action on a matter of which it had no knowledge. 

“Real Madrid has demanded total rectification of the situation from the aforementioned newspaper.”

Mayorga, 34, claims that she was paid to sign a non-disclosure agreement in 2010 but has now decided to go public with her allegations.

On Wednesday, Ronaldo’s lawyers ​denied the legitimacy of documents relating to the alleged incident, claiming that they had been “altered and fabricated” as part of an “intentional defamation campaign” against the Portuguese player.

Der Spiegel, the newspaper which saw the documents last week, has responded by claiming that the documents are actually genuine.