AAP Soccer

Ronaldo deal no-brainer for Real Madrid

By AAP Newswire

The blow of losing Cristiano Ronaldo will be softened for Real Madrid by the financial gains and the satisfaction of having enjoyed the best years of the 33-year-old's career.

Now the Los Galacticos intend spending the money to find the next big superstar.

The 112 million euros ($A177 million) transfer fee will go some way to paying for Ronaldo's replacement.

And the 30-million-euro ($A47 million) new contract that Spanish media reported had been offered to Ronaldo can now be spent paying other players instead.

Making a profit on a player of Ronaldo's age after benefiting from his brilliance for almost a decade looks like smart business and will have influenced the decision to sell.

The Madrid press echoed those sentiments when Marca headlined one opinion piece on Tuesday: "No one is above Madrid", pointing out: "It is his wish to go and Madrid has decided that it was the right time to allow to leave a player who will be 34 next February."

Florentino Perez has been open to selling Ronaldo at the right price for some time now.

When the player leaked to the Portuguese press last summer that he had no intention of playing for Real Madrid again after tax problems there was a communal shrug of the shoulders from the club's board - if Ronaldo could find a buyer then he would be sold.

The scenario repeated this summer when Ronaldo - much to the president's distaste - announced that he would be reviewing his future in the immediate aftermath of the Champions League victory in Kiev.

Again the response from the club was - find a buyer and at the right price you will be allowed to leave.

Ronaldo's major gripe with the club in recent years has been over a reportedly unkept promise to increase his earnings to the 35 million euros ($A55 million) a season that he believes other top stars Neymar and Lionel Messi earn.

When the club offered him a new deal in January 2018 it was for 25 million euros ($A39.5 million) plus a further 5 million euros ($A8 million) according to certain objectives. He saw it as a show of disrespect.

Again Madrid challenged him to find a buying club and this time the player's agent Jorge Mendes came up with a willing suitor.

When he sold Joao Cancelo to Juventus last month he proposed the Ronaldo transfer to Juventus's sporting director Fabio Paratici and the Italian champions have made it happen.

Despite the financial kickbacks Madrid will miss Ronaldo on the pitch and new coach Julen Lopetegui will expect to be given at least one big-name signing this summer to make up for the loss.

The long-term aim could be Neymar - for everything he offers on the pitch and off it in terms of commercial impact.

But it remains to be seen if that deal can be made to happen this summer or if Real Madrid must wait a year until next year when Spanish media believe the 26-year-old has a release cause of 222 million euros from Paris Saint-Germain.

If the club has to wait a year then Chelsea's Eden Hazard has emerged as a well-placed option this summer.

He told Bein Sports in France before Tuesday's semi-final defeat to France at the World Cup: "Real Madrid is a dream for any player, with or without (Zinedine) Zidane (as coach)."

Hazard would not be a like for like replacement but after an impressive World Cup he would excite Real Madrid supporters and he appears more accessible than Neymar and France's 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe, the Brazilian's team-mate at PSG.

The latter now finds himself in Sunday's World Cup final, making the Paris club even less likely to part with him than with Neymar.