He may be 31, and entering the twilight of his career – but that hasn't stopped Real Madrid from offering Cristiano Ronaldo a new 5-year deal, according to reports.
With Madrid's transfer ban due to set in anytime, Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes is said negotiating the bumper deal for his star client. If it were to get finalised, it would mean Madrid would be Ronaldo's last major club in Madrid – unless PSG or anther club of its ilk seeks a year or two from a 36-year-old, in the same way Manchester United signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic on board.
According to Cuatro, the deal that Mendes is negotiating could net Ronaldo around 23 million euros per season. It would make it the second highest contract in the Spanish league – ahead of Neymar whose renewal is worth 15 million Euros annually and behind only Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
23 million Euros is a whole lot of money – especially for a 31-year-old but Ronaldo is a special, special player. With the transfer ban from FIFA due soon, Madrid's options are reduced. Initially Florentino Perez – not prone to overt displays of sentimentality at the best of times – wanted to offer Ronaldo a short term contract. But the player, and his agent, using all the wile and street-smart that have made their partnership such a brilliant commercial success has made it clear – long-term or nothing.
With at least two-three years of top-level, world-beating football left in those sculpted legs, it would appear that the master negotiator Perez himself has been out-negotiated. After all, Ronaldo, along with Messi, is at an altogether different plane as compared to the others even now – and Madrid cannot possibly withstand the footballing and commercial implications of not having one of the two biggest names in World Football on their payroll. Especially when Leo Messi is all set to remain at Barca for a long, long, time.
As per the norm, Madrid are planning to make a gala event of the renewal announcement. They have three options that they usually choose from in such scenarios - an announcement at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with the public present, an event in the gallery which would be transmitted on screens at the Bernabeu for a public gathering or, finally, an understate press conference.
Expect a whole lot more Ronaldo vs Messi El Clasicos over the next half-decade.
Madrid are also reportedly engaged in talks with Gareth Bale to extend his contract and have already announced the signing of a new deal with Toni Kroos