What was more surprising than the rumours was that some believed them to be true.
The Spanish tax authorities, as part of their ongoing investigation into Jorge Mendes agency, sent Cristiano Ronaldo a bill for €15m and he didn’t like it one bit. Throw in a potential spell at His Majesty’s Pleasure and the Portuguese international was feeling distinctly unloved.
A slew of speculation followed; he was returning home where he would reunite with Manchester United and work once more with Jose Mourinho. Ronaldo declared he wasn’t paying the bill and Real Madrid declared the 32-year-old was worth €150-300m, depending on the day of the week it was.
The Special One could be working again with the Petulant One.
Florentino Perez squared things with Ronaldo over the bill. The club would settle it, and while he was at it, why did Cristiano have a pay rise as well. The ball is in the player’s court.
Two of his team-mates wish he would hurry up. Alvaro Morata, recently married in Venice, and James Rodriguez, are both on United’s list of targets this summer, according to Daily Express and Don Balon reports.
United, it’s claimed, have agreed a £70m deal for Morata, with the £40m fee augmented by his £30m salary over the course of a four-year deal. Real were expected to turn around a quick sale on the Spanish international last year to partially fund the purchase of Paul Pogba.
Now they find their £60m valuation out of kilter with the transfer market and must cut their losses.
United meanwhile are also interested in James Rodriguesz. The Colombian midfielder arrived from Monaco after the 2014 World Cup but has endured his stay rather than enjoyed it.
Rodriguez is highly coveted, appreciated for his international appearances, rather than his diminishing number of times he pulls on the Real Madrid shirt. Whether Los Merengues are able to recoup the reported €80m fee they paid for him is another matter.