Cristiano Ronaldo during a Portugal training session.
Cristiano Ronaldo during a Portugal training session. ANDRE KOSTERS

World's highest-paid player wants out: reports

CRISTIANO Ronaldo wants to quit Real Madrid, according to reports in his native Portugal, Spain and the UK.

Ronaldo, currently with Portugal at the Confederations Cup in Russia, has been angered by €14.7m ($21.6m) tax fraud claims in Spain.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola reports that the 32-year-old has decided his time in Spain has come to an end, adding he had communicated this 'irreversible' decision as final to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. The newspaper touted a €180m ($264.4m) move this transfer window.

The BBC later also reported that an "upset" Ronaldo wanted out of Madrid, citing a source close to the player.

"He feels he's honest, has good character and did everything OK," the source said.

"He's very sad and really upset.

"He doesn't want to stay in Spain. At this moment, he wants to leave."

Spain's AS reported that Ronaldo had decided to quit Real two months ago, before the Champions League final victory, telling his agent Jorge Mendes and other close associates that he felt "badly treated and unjustly judged".

"The situation became so tense that Jorge Mendes had to convince Cristiano not to say anything in public about the matter until after the Champions League final in Cardiff as to not destabilise the team ahead of such a massive game," Tomas Roncero wrote in AS.

The Guardian also cited a source close to Ronaldo, claiming the megastar was "outraged" and "feels great indignation" at the "injustice". The Guardian headline read: "'Outraged' Cristiano Ronaldo puts Manchester United on red alert", and its report led by saying: "Manchester United are watching the Cristiano Ronaldo show with renewed interest after the Real Madrid striker made it plain he is "outraged" at what he feels is unfair treatment by tax authorities and is now determined to leave Spain."

Spanish radio station COPE reported that Mendes had told Real Madrid was angry over the tax fraud claims and had an offer from a Premier League club, plus clubs in France and China.

The highest-paid player in world football is being linked to a return to Manchester United, a move to Paris Saint-Germain, or the Chinese Super League.

Former Real president Ramon Calderon told The Sun that Ronaldo loved United and Madrid may just have to let him go.

"I had the same situation with Manchester United when he decided to leave and I signed him," Calderon said.

"He says I want to leave and that's it, as a president you can't do anything other than let him go and get the best possible deal."

Ronaldo is yet to comment on the speculation.

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