Cristiano Ronaldo told his Real Madrid team-mates of his plans to leave the club weeks before their Champions League final victory over Liverpool in May.
According to Spanish outlet Marca (via the Daily Mail), Ronaldo has been sure of his decision to leave Madrid for some time now and his colleagues at the club have long since been aware of the situation regarding the Portuguese forward’s future at the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo threw his Real Madrid future into doubt immediately after their European triumph, telling beIN Sports: “It was very nice to be in Madrid…in the next few days I will give an answer to the fans, who have always been by my side.”
Ronaldo has been linked with the exit door a number of times throughout his nine-year stay at Madrid, often as a bargaining tool in order to gain a new and improved contract.
It is possible that this is the case once again and Ronaldo is simply angling for more money – as has also been reported on Sunday – however, Marca are confident the 33-year-old’s desire to quit the club is genuine this time.
Rumour has it that Ronaldo is keen to see his wages match those of Lionel Messi, who recently signed a new deal with Barcelona worth an astonishing £35m per season.
Ronaldo currently earns approximately £18m per season and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly not keen on offering such an exorbitant pay rise to the player.
Doubt surrounding the future of Real Madrid’s all-time highest scorer is just the latest mishap in what has been a turbulent beginning to the summer for the club, with manager Zinedine Zidane resigning from his post mere days after guiding his side to a third successive Champions League trophy.