Reports: Florentino Perez tried to lower Cristiano Ronaldo's buyout clause, pen new contract before Juventus move
What's the story?
La Liga expert Guillem Balague has revealed that in the months prior to Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from the Bernabeu, Real Madrid were reportedly willing to offer him a new contract. However, a change in his buy-out clause forced the Portuguese star to move away from the club.
In case you didn't know...
When Ronaldo said goodbye to Los Blancos, varied speculation arose regarding the reasons for the decision.
It was only months later, when the 33-year-old forward sat down for an interview with France Football that the world learned why he had left the club that was his home for almost a decade.
Real president Florentino Perez was at the heart of Ronaldo's explanation:
"I felt it inside the club, especially from the president, that they no longer considered me the same way that they did in the start... The president looked at me through eyes that didn’t want to say the same thing, as if I was no longer indispensable to them, if you know what I mean."
"That’s what made me think about leaving. Sometimes I’d look at the news, where they were saying I was asking to leave. There was a bit of that but the truth is I always had the impression the president would not hold me back... The truth is that the president wanted me but, at the same time, he made it known to me that my departure would not constitute a problem."
The heart of the matter
Balague has now come out with another claim regarding the Perez-Ronaldo saga, stating that the club president's insistence on lowering his star player's buy-out clause was one of the reasons that led him to move to Juventus.
Speaking on the GB Transfer Show, Balague said,
"Julen Lopetegui had no idea Cristiano was leaving. There was no real push from Real Madrid for him to go...Cristiano was saying to Real ‘if you want me to stay, then give me a new contract."
"And Florentino Perez said OK - but if you wouldn’t mind, lower your buyout clause. To a more manageable buyout clause... How do you think Cristiano reacted to that?"
"He was like ‘they don’t want me, they don’t want me! Go get me a team to Jorge Mendes [agent]."
The claims add another dimension to the reasons behind Ronaldo's shock exit and while it may appear that both parties wanted some compromise, it's best to take these reports with a pinch of salt.