Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘sad’ and ‘upset’, and he wants to leave Real Madrid.
The Portuguese’s wish to depart Spain is seen by many as a ploy to detract from recent allegations of defrauding authorities of up to £13million in tax.
Contrary to those claims, it has been reported that Ronaldo actually made his mind up six weeks ago, and told former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of his plans to leave.
United are one of a handful of clubs linked with the 32-year-old now he appears to be available, with French giants Paris Saint-Germain and a clutch of Chinese Super League clubs also capable of financing a deal.
But does anyone have a bloody clue how much he would cost?
The existence of a €1billion release clause in his Real contract has been widely reported, which equals around £874m.
Despite that, the Daily Mail report that a bid of more than half that – still a gargantuan fee – could tempt Real into selling.
‘Real Madrid say it would take a £350million deal to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club,’ they claim.
Spanish newspaper Marca claim similar.
‘Real Madrid would only permit his sale if they receive at least 400 million euros (£349.6m),’ they write on Sunday morning. The very same story, it must be said, adds that Real ‘could sell him if an offer of 200m euros arrives.’ That would be £174.9m.
Next are the Daily Telegraph, who knock the potential price down even further. ‘A world-record bid of €150m (£131m) may be forthcoming,’ they claim.
Looking further afield, Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport obviously have news of a French club signing a Portuguese player from a Spanish club. They claim that PSG are ‘ready for the highest offer of history’ – £122.3m.
How do you make a £100m+ transfer for a 32-year-old player seem even more unlikely? Throw in a part-exchange for another player.
That is precisely what the Daily Express do, as they claim that Chelsea ‘could also use Eden Hazard – a long term target of Real Madrid’s – as a pawn to persuade the European champions to nudge Ronaldo in Chelsea’s direction’. Sure.
Yet that isn’t even the most batsh*t theory of the day. That crown belong to Tuttosport. The Italian newspaper’s front page can be seen atop this article, with a headline of ‘L’INCASTRO’ – ‘the interlocking’.
‘United’s crazy proposal for Ronaldo and Morata (210 million plus the goalkeeper David de Gea) drives away Donnarumma from Real. And for Gigio, Juve has already made an appointment with Milan.’
Rough translation: United are offering €210m (£183) plus David de Gea to sign Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata. That then frees up Gianluigi Donnarumma to join Juventus over Real.
So, back to the question: Does anyone have a bloody clue how much Ronaldo would cost?