- La Liga
United target Ronaldo will retire at Madrid, says Perez
Florentino Perez has again stated that Cristiano Ronaldo has no intention of leaving Real Madrid, while admitting that new contract talks with the Portuguese have yet to begin.
AS claimed on Thursday morning that Europe's richest clubs - including Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco - were battling for position to sign the Portuguese either this summer, or when his contract ends in 2015. According to the Spanish paper Ronaldo could then receive a €60 million signing on-fee and more than double his current €10 million a year wages at Madrid.
Speaking on radio show El Primer Toque on Wednesday night the Blancos president claimed he was not concerned about such rumours as Ronaldo had no intention of leaving Madrid, and talks over a contract extension would soon begin.
"There are no open negotiations at the moment, that will be from July," Perez said. "My opinion is that Cristiano will retire at Real Madrid, that is his dream, and the club's too. Some people think that negotiations are done in the newspapers."
While the 'unhappiness' which Ronaldo suffered from last September appears to have passed, the former Manchester United man has given no indication that he plans to sign a new Madrid contract. Perez said the only way his club would sell was if the buyer agreed to meet the player's €1 billion release clause.
"The truth is I do not know [why he was unhappy]," Perez said. "I told him not to worry, that I would do everything possible so that he was happy. He played a magnificent season. Cristiano never asked me to leave. If anyone does want to leave it is very easy - the clause must be paid. With that money you could buy a lot of good players."
Another concern for Madrid fans is the contract situation of key midfielder Xabi Alonso, who has just 12 months left on his deal. Perez suggested that the Spanish international, 31, was waiting to see if his current injury problems cleared up before deciding on his future.
"Xabi Alonso wants to see how he is, he has one year left on his contract and, if he feels good, he wants to stay at Madrid," he said. "If he feels less good, maybe a move elsewhere would be studied. There is no type of problem, if he feels good, he will stay, I have no doubt about that."
Asked if Alonso might play out the last year of his contract at the Bernabeu before moving back to England, perhaps to former club Liverpool or to team up again with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Perez said that he doubted this would happen.
"If Xabi could go to the Premier League, then he could be with Madrid," he said. "That is not what he should be thinking about. If he feels good, the best place to be is at Madrid."
The future at the Bernabeu of centre-half Pepe, 30, has also been thrown into doubt after he was displaced in the team this season by French teenager Raphael Varane and reports in the UK have suggested Manchester City were preparing a €25 million bid.
Perez said he had no intention of selling the Portuguese defender, given how difficult it would be to find a replacement.
"Pepe is not for sale," he said. "He will not leave this summer. That is my opinion, we will see what happens. He is one of the best defenders in the world. It would be very difficult to replace him. Varane has done very well, but he is still a youngster, still learning."