Cristiano Ronaldo could become the world’s highest paid player in an attempt by Real Madrid to fend off a possible Manchester United return for the Portuguese international.
United are pursuing Ronaldo in an attempt to bring him back to Old Trafford after he left in 2009 for a world record fee of £80 million.
But Madrid president Florentino Perez is to fly to America later this month to try and get the forward to sign to a long-term contract that would see him eclipse the £330,000-a-week salary earned by Samual Eto’o at Anzhi Makhachkala.
Perez has made it clear that he want Ronaldo to remain with the club till the end of his career, and he spoke of it to issue a warning to senior United officials who were encouraged when Ronaldo previously refused to sign a new contract.
“Ronaldo wants to retire at Real Madrid, and we want him to retire here, just like Zidane and so many other great players did,” Pérez said. “You can be absolutely certain that Cristiano will retire at Real Madrid.”
Although Ronaldo is considering running down his contract which expires in 2015, United believe they can force through a deal for the him a year earlier should he make it clear that he will not sign a new one, meaning Madrid will have to either cash in on their star man, or risk losing him for nothing a year later.
Perez is planning to meet Ronaldo during Real’s four-game tour of the United States before the end of the month, and it is believed that the contract talks are top of his agenda.
Ronaldo has scored an incredible 201 goals for Real in 199 games, and he remains integral to any hopes Madrid have of overhauling Barcelona for the La Liga title next season.