Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United transfer target Cristiano Ronaldo 'agrees new long-term contract' with Real Madrid

By Jack de Menezes

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly signed a new five-year contract with Real Madrid, although he refused to confirm the news as he claimed the time isn’t right to discuss the situation.

Spanish newspaper Marca has reported that Ronaldo has agreed a new deal till 2018, increasing his annual salary to £14.8m after tax and also negotiating a new agreement over the sale of his image rights as part of the deal.

The forward has two years left on his current deal with Real, who are currently in the process of negotiating a deal for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale that will smash the current world record transfer fee set when Madrid paid £80m for Ronaldo in 2009.

Manchester United have expressed a desire to bring the Portuguese star back to the club, and Ronaldo has also admitted his interest in returning to Old Trafford at some point in his career, although he has remained coy on the subject until now.

He was quoted in Spanish newspaper AS as saying: “The situation still hasn't been resolved and I don't think now is the right time to talk about it.

"Perhaps we'll be able to give more concrete news about this further down the line but now the only thing in my remit is to train and work."

Ronaldo was speaking after the club beat Everton in the semi-finals of the International Champions Cup in the United States, which has set-up a final against former manager Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side, with ‘The Special One’ having vacated the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this summer.

Ronaldo refused to comment on speculation that Bale would complete his move to Madrid in the next few days, citing that he is not the right person to ask about the deal.

"I'm not qualified to talk about new players, but I'm very happy with the players the team already has,” said Ronaldo.

"In terms of the transfer fee, you should speak to the coach [Carlo Ancelotti] and president [Florentino Perez] about that. I have my opinion, but I'm not going to reveal it in front of the cameras."

Mourinho left Real after a turbulent season in Spain, having fallen out with the majority of his squad and the Madrid hierarchy, and he has not wasted any time in having a swipe at the club he faces on Wednesday.

Speaking to ESPN on Sunday, he said: “Madrid is politics. Madrid is not about football, Madrid is not about sport."

He also had a dig at his former star player by declaring “the real Ronaldo” was the Brazilian international who featured for AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona where the two worked together during Mourinho’s tenure as translator and assistant coach in 1996 and 1997.

Ronaldo remained calm when questioned about Mourinho’s comments though, choosing to remember the good times the two shared at the club rather than his belittling comments yesterday.

"There are some things in life that don't deserve any mention. This is one of those things and I won't comment on it for obvious reasons. I always respect my coaches and try to learn from them.

“As we say in Portugal: 'I don't spit on the plate I eat on.' That's how I feel. I prefer to try and remember the positive side [to Mourinho]."

And he denied that Madrid will be desperate to get one over Mourinho early on when they meet Chelsea in Miami.

He declared: "We are facing Chelsea, not their coach. Athough it's like any other game, we want to win."

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