€100m Transfer Fee
Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational move from Real Madrid to Juventus looks set to be agreed.
The Portugal international is ready to walk away from the Bernabeu after nine years with the La Liga side. His agent Jorge Mendes has already agreed a pay package worth €30million (£26million) a year – the equivalent of £500,000 a week in his hand.
Mendes met with Real president Florentino Perez and chief executive Jose Angel Sanchez on Wednesday to thrash out a transfer deal. He was told by Perez that Ronaldo can leave on payment of €100million (£88million) and was asked to present a formal offer from Juve so the deal can go through.
Ronaldo was interested in remaining with Real but only if he would be given a significant pay rise. But the idea of a salary increase wasn’t even addressed and it now looks to be only a matter of time before he moves to Turin on a four-year contract.
The move isn’t ready to be announced just yet. Ronaldo is currently on holiday following Real’s exit from the World Cup at the hands of Uruguay last weekend. For their part, Real want the exit to be presented to their fan-base as painlessly as possible.
For Ronaldo, his love affair with Spain has cooled since the Spanish tax man got his claws in to his financial affairs. He was found guilty of avoiding taxes on his overseas rights earnings and has had to pay a total of €16million in arrears, interest and fines. Since the investigation began he has said on at least two occasions – including once under oath at a tribunal – that he wanted to leave Spain.
In that case, he is off to the right place. A move back to the Premier League was out of the question. Manchester United weren’t interested in re-purchasing a player they sold for £78million in 2009 and who is now 33 years old. Paris Saint-Germain have also dropped their interest.
But in Italy, Ronaldo can enjoy the same tax arrangements he had in England – and most likely without the tax man casting too much of an eye over it. Overseas image rights are a contentious issue particularly as a player doesn’t have to leave his country of residence to earn them. Spain and France have a reputation of having the toughest tax jurisdictions with regards to overseas earnings. The countries with the most lax regulators: the United Kingdom and Italy.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs nodded through the arrangements Ronaldo had when he was with Manchester United – the same arrangements the Spanish tax man objected to. He can expect a similarly easy ride in Italy.