That trip to Paris for Cristiano Ronaldo last week to talk to PSG has paid off as Real Madrid look set to complete their U-turn on the future of by offering him a contract extension that will keep him at the club until he is 35.
Madrid president Florentino Perez started the season with the intention of cashing in on Real’s all-time record goalscorer with Paris Saint-Germain ready to pay close to €100m for his services.
But with Gareth Bale, the man Perez wants to replace CR7 as Madrid’s talisman, injured once again, Perez has decided to keep faith with Ronaldo, who has broken the 30-goal barrier for the sixth straight season.
Although he is 31 years old the club believe Ronaldo’s performances are not suffering as a result, thanks to his professionalism and the mid-season training camp under Zidane.
Based on his current goalscoring rate, he has 47 goals in 44 games this season, Marca projects that he could finish his career with close to 600 goals for Real Madrid. A record that might never be broken.
The turnaround by Perez was unexpected because Madrid need to buy big this summer because a FIFA transfer ban will begin in January 2017 and they need to raise money to fund the spending.
Selling Ronaldo whose current deal runs out in 2018 looked like being the best way of doing that.
But if that is no longer the case, then the Whites will have to sacrifice other members of their squad with Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez and Spanish forward Isco now looking like being the highly-priced sacrifices.
The wildcard could be if Perez decides that he is tired of Bale’s injury problems and decides to sell him for €100m to Manchester United freeing up the kind of money Madrid would need to go after Paul Pogba.
RONALDO STATS AT MADRID
- 2009-10 35 games, 33 goals
- 2010-11 54 games, 53 goals
- 2011-12 55 games, 60 goals
- 2012-13 55 games, 55 goals
- 2013-14 47 games, 51 goals
- 2014-15 54 games, 61 goals
- 2015-16 44 games, 47 goals