- Amid reports the Real Madrid forward wants out, a sky-high release clause presents some eye-popping numbers
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly seeking to leave the team amid allegations that he evaded $16.5 million in taxes.
The Portuguese newspaper A Bola also reported that a number of teams (including Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco) would eagerly make a play for the forward.
Ronaldo, though, just signed a new deal last year that would keep him with Real Madrid until 2021. So how much would it take to sign him?
Well, for starters, the 32-year-old's release clause has been reported to be €1 billion. Yes, billion.
His agent, Jorge Mendes, told the BBC in 2015 that the Portuguese star would sell for £300 million (about €342 million) if Real Madrid decided to let him leave then. Recent reports in A Bola this month said multiple clubs are expected to make offers of about £158 million for him.
A release clause binds a club to sell a player if it receives a bid that meets or exceeds that amount. A buyout clause determines the figure required for a player to buy himself out of his own contract. Both are rarely triggered because the sums are huge, way outpacing a player's estimated market value.
Real Madrid paid a then-world-record fee of £80 million to get Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009. Last year, Paul Pogba went to United for just under £90 million, upping the previous record fee of an estimated £85 million Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale in 2013.
While he's certainly worth far less than a billion, Ronaldo appears poised to set a new record on the transfer market once again if things with Real Madrid are really as tense as reported.