Cristiano Ronaldo is set to sign a new five-year contract with Real Madrid before the end of this month, Goal can reveal.
Having sealed the world-record signing of Gareth Bale earlier in September, Madrid have now switched their attentions to tying up the Portuguese on a new, long-term deal.
Madrid have offered Ronaldo an increased wage of €15 million per annum after tax, with the agreement set to run until 2018, in a total package worth a record €155m over five years.
As a total package, it is the most lucrative contract in football history and the game's largest annual wage following Samuel Eto'o's departure from Anzhi Makhachkala. By comparison, Bale will pocket €10m per annum after tax while Lionel Messi earns €13m per annum, plus bonuses, over five years.
The Portuguese's current contract concludes in 2015, but Madrid are confident their star player will sign by the end of September.
Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid
|3||Ronaldo has won three trophies so far in Spain: La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Supercopa|
|10||Cristiano's current contract earns him €10 million after tax. His next one will bring in €15m per year|
|50||The 28-year-old has racked up 50 assists in his 202 games at Real|
|94||What Madrid paid, in millions of euros, to sign Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009|
|155||The millions of euros Madrid will shell out in the package to keep Cristiano in Spain until 2018|
|202||The Portuguese has scored 202 goals in 202 games for Real Madrid|
President Florentino Perez has consistently insisted the Portuguese will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu. "He is the best player in the world and we want to make him the world's highest-paid player," the construction magnate said earlier this summer.
And he added: "I am sure that with Cristiano we will win La Decima."
Meanwhile, former Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Paco Buyo told Goal recently that an agreement was close. "I see Ronaldo staying," he said. "The two parties are moving closer together [in contract talks] and I believe Cristiano will stay because, among other things, he is very happy at Madrid - both at the club and in the city as well."
Ronaldo looked set to leave Madrid this time last year, when he spoke of his 'sadness' at what he perceived to be a lack of support from senior figures at the club, while his difficult relationship with Jose Mourinho also caused the forward to question his future with the Spanish side.
Like Mourinho, Cristiano considered a return to the Premier League (with Manchester United), but the departure of his compatriot, the added support of Perez and the good feeling with new coach Carlo Ancelotti have helped him rediscover his happiness in Madrid. "He [Ancelotti] is a great coach, a great man, and I am happy to work with him," the 28-year-old said last month.
Madrid signed Ronaldo from United in a world-record €94 million transfer in 2009, following Florentino's return to the presidency. He currently earns around €10m annually after tax.
When Ronaldo arrived, however, the so-called 'Beckham Law', which allowed foreigners who had lived in Spain for less than 10 years and who earned above €120,000 per annum to pay a lower tax rate of around 23 per cent and not the usual 45%, was still in force. David Beckham was one of the first to take advantage of the legislation after his move from Manchester in 2003.
However, the Spanish government has since scrapped that initiative and a new deal would see Ronaldo required to pay 52% of his salary to the taxman. Madrid will therefore be faced with an annual outlay close to €31m in order to pay the Portuguese the net €15m.
|Ronaldo wants to renew his contract and the club want him to renew. I don't think it will be a problem"
- Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti last month
However, Perez is conscious that the current sporting project depends very much on keeping Cristiano and knows he would face a backlash from fans should the Portuguese leave the club.
The deal is all but agreed, with only image rights still to be resolved as negotiations continue. Ronaldo currently has a 60 per cent share (of which he pays a third to Jorge Mendes' company Gestifute), while the club keep 40%. The 28-year-old is keen to improve that ratio and Madrid could consider ceding part of their share to keep the player happy.
Mendes, meanwhile, reportedly set up two meetings with Monaco this summer, with the French outfit apparently prepared to offer €20m after tax to secure the services of the Portuguese.
Ronaldo, however, is excited by the new sporting project in Madrid and is keen to cement his legendary status at the Spanish side by becoming the club's all-time top goalscorer. Ronaldo has hit 202 goals in as many games for Real and, at his current rate, is likely to close in on Raul (323 strikes) within the next three seasons.
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