Real Madrid’s pursuit of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale could be fuelled by the fear that Cristiano Ronaldo will not renew his contract, after former club president Ramon Calderon revealed that talks over a new contract had turned sour.
Calderon believes that Ronaldo wants a substantial wage hike on his already astronomical contract, which is believed to earn him €12m (£10.4m) a year.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Calderon said: “I think the president has put all he has on the table [for Bale] just in case he cannot get the renewal of Cristiano.
"He is afraid that, at some moment, Cristiano Ronaldo will go and that would be very bad news for Real Madrid.
"What we know is he [Ronaldo] is not happy at all with the attitude and behaviour of the president. At the start of last season, he tried to talk to the president about the renewal of his contract and the talks did not go well.
"Now I understand he is asking for €20m (£17.5m) net every season. That is going to be difficult for Real Madrid to accept because it is around €40 million every year for the club to pay and that is the situation now."
Calderon’s words will alert Manchester United, who have expressed their interest in bringing the Portuguese captain back to the club where he made his name.
Ronaldo is also said to want a return to Old Trafford at some point in his career, and Madrid may look to cash in next summer or risk losing their £80m-signing on a free transfer the following year.
The Spaniard also spoke about Madrid’s pursuit of Bale in light of Carlo Ancelotti’s words that talks had begun between Spurs and the La Liga club over a transfer.
"At first, the Spurs president was angry because you don't want to lose a player like that, but when Bale says he wants to leave, you have to accept it," he said.
"I think this is very good news for Real Madrid, but I think it is good for Tottenham too because they will get a lot of money.
"He is a fantastic player, and of course the top players are worth a lot to their clubs.
"This is a huge amount of money and it is always controversial in these days to pay that amount of money. I agreed with the fee for Cristiano at the time and it seems the Real president feels it is right to pay this money for Gareth Bale. I think [Bale move] will happen now. They have made many offers. They change the offers, try to offer different players."