“I’m speaking to my lawyer about this!” is among the most pompous threats a person can make outside the context of actually being arrested. So it’s little surprise to hear these words emanating from the small, perfectly formed mouth of football’s Mr Pomposity himself, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Express reports that CR7 is getting the lawyers in – not because he is facing criminal charges, or being sued, or checking his rights after mistakenly killing an endangered bird of prey – but because he wants to leave Real Madrid for a cut-price fee and they won’t let him because they are big meanies and it’s not fair.
Actually, to backtrack slightly, Ronaldo may actual be facing criminal charges over alleged tax evasion worth £13m. But that’s not why he’s called his lawyers. Rather, he is seeking legal help because he wants to have his Bernabeu release clause lowered.
The Portuguese forward is reportedly so desperate to quit the European champions that he is attempting to “engineer” a material change in the five-year contract he signed last season.
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That release clause currently stands at £879m, a price tag he fears may be putting off prospective buyers, and he wants it lowered to something more realistic (e.g. £50m?).
Maybe Real will agree to this if he also lowers his wage by a similar amount (thereby reducing it from £365,000 to about £20,000 a week – ha).
Ronaldo scuppers De Gea move
Frustratingly, Ronaldo’s silliness cannot be totally dismissed is because he is so powerful that it has far-reaching consequences.
For instance, the Star claims that David de Gea’s proposed move to Real Madrid is being “delayed” because he shares a (super) agent, Jorge Mendes, with CR7.
The tabloid suggests that Mendes is “driving a hard bargain” with Los Blancos over the Manchester United goalkeeper because Ronaldo is upset with them, and Mendes has to do what makes Ronaldo happy because, after all, this is a man who once bought him an entire Greek island as a wedding gift.
Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil has been driving his own hard bargain with Real’s rivals, Barcelona. The Arsenal playmaker has apparently given the La Liga leaders a two-week deadline to sign him (Mundo Deportivo).
That’s because, according to the Mail, he would actually prefer to sign for Man Utd, and will happily wait until the end of the season for a move to Old Trafford unless Barca act now.
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Barca’s urgency to sign Ozil seems to depend entirely on whether they can snare Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool. The Mirror says the Catalan giants will swoop for the German, and Gremio starlet Arthur, if they miss out on Coutinho for a second transfer window running.
Elsewhere, Newcastle will target Liverpool’s Danny Ings and Man Utd’s Luke Shaw in the January transfer window (Star), Sporting Lisbon are keen to take Leicester flop Islam Slimani on loan next month (Talksport) and AC Milan’s 18-year-old goalkeeper has asked for his four-year contract to be “annulled” so that he can move to either Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain (Gazzetta dello Sport). Sounds like something he might want to speak to his lawyer about.