An outraged Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Real Madrid over what he feels is unfair treatment by tax authorities.
Ronaldo, who has helped Real win the double of La Liga and Champions League this season, is accused by Spanish authorities of evading tax to the value of 14.7m euros (£13m; $16m) between 2011 and 2014.
Real Madrid have since released a statement saying they had “full confidence” in their player, and that they were convinced he would prove his innocence.
However, a source close to the player claimed that Ronaldo “feels great indignation” with all the conjecture about his tax affairs and a sense of “injustice” at the allegations, which he contests, and has made a decision to leave Spain.
“He’s very sad and really upset,” the source reportedly told BBC. “He doesn’t want to stay in Spain. At this moment, he wants to leave.”
As Ronaldo’s future remains uncertain, he could make a return to his former club Manchester United — one of the select few clubs with the financial muscle to offer a competitive package for Ronaldo. The Red Devils had been predicting record revenues of up to £570m this year and his return would be a dream commercial move.
Nonetheless, Ronaldo has a €1bn (£880m) release clause in his current Madrid deal and United – now without having to pay Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s wages and the potentially Wayne Rooney’s soon – would be able to meet Ronaldo’s wage demands of around £400,000 a week.
Among other clubs that could match United’s offer is Paris Saint-Germain, but the Old Trafford move presents Ronaldo with a grander stage in the Premier League on which to perform compared to Ligue 1, especially with their re-entry into the Champions League after their Europa League victory.
But with the potential availability of one of the world’s most marketable players, Chinese Super League clubs will also naturally be on alert for the player.