Real Madrid deal close to lifting gloom hurting Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid are preparing to offer Cristiano Ronaldo an olive branch when he returns to the club from international duty this week.
The Spanish champions are contemplating issuing a joint statement that will be endorsed by both the club's president Florentino Perez and the player himself and will make clear Real's commitment to eventually extend his contract beyond 2015 and give full support to his candidacy for this year's Fifa Golden Ball.
The club have decided it serves no purpose to be at odds with their best player, at least while the transfer market remains closed, and have moved to address his two primary complaints – the failure to extend his current deal, which expires in 2015, and a perceived lack of support towards him in his attempts to win football's top individual prizes.
As well as bad feeling caused by him entering his fourth season at the club still with his original deal in place, Ronaldo was unhappy that a relatively low-level club director (Pedro Lopez, a trusted friend of president Florentino Perez) was sent with him to Monaco for the presentation of Europe's player of the year award, while Barcelona stars Leo Messi and Andres Iniesta were accompanied by the Barça president Sandro Rosell.
Despite the club's intention to announce a commitment to renew Ronaldo's deal, the signing of a new deal could still be delayed until the end of the season because of the impact that the end of the so-called "Beckham Law" has on the overall cost of any salary increase.
The Beckham law was introduced by Madrid president Perez's friend, the then Spain president Jose Maria Aznar, as a supposed fiscal loophole encouraging well-paid engineers and scientists to live and work in Spain paying just 24.75 per cent tax for the first six years.
But it helped clubs to sign superstars such as David Beckham and Ronaldo because it lowered the amount of tax the club had to pay on behalf of the player. A revision of the law now means it does not apply to anyone earning over €600,000 and so any new Ronaldo contract would, from 2015, be subject to a 52 per cent tax, a burden that must be shouldered by the club.
As a consequence, a €3m increase in Ronaldo's take-home pay lifting him from €10m to €13m net, would now cost the club around to €26.5m a season. The club could look to ease the tax burden by paying more of his wages as image rights and compensating him by reducing the amount of his image rights they take back.
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