Real Madrid Transfer News: Latest on Cristiano Ronaldo's Contract, Exit Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2017

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 16:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates with his son Cristiano Ronaldo Jnr and his team-mates at the end of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 final match between Gremio and Real Madrid CF at Zayed Sports City Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly has his heart set on becoming the best-paid player in the world, according to the latest report casting doubt on his long-term future with Real Madrid.

Jose Felix Diaz (via Marc Mayo) of Marca―a Madrid-based newspaper widely regarded as a mouthpiece for the club, per Kieran Gill of MailOnline―reported Ronaldo is the third-best-paid player in the world, and after winning the 2017 Ballon d'Or and scoring the deciding goal in the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday against Gremio, Real believe he wants to change that.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar currently earn more than the 32-year-old, who signed a new long-term deal in 2016 and still has more than three seasons on his current contract.

Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

The report also stated Real have no plans of opening negotiations at this time, but that could change if Ronaldo "decides to lobby for a better deal."

The former Manchester United man has been a constant topic of transfer speculation this season, although most of the chatter has been sensationalist in nature. The El Chiringuito TV show (via Metro) joined in on the fun earlier in December and even suggested Ronaldo had already instructed his lawyers to negotiate an exit.

Ronaldo himself told reporters he would like to retire at the club, although he admitted that isn't entirely up to him, per Sky Sports: "I would really like to, but things don't depend on me. What depends on me is what I do on the pitch. I am not the one who runs the club; that is for those in charge. My job is on the pitch and I think I am doing it well; the rest I can't control."

Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Per the same report, manager Zinedine Zidane also touched on a possible new contract for his top attacking star, saying it's an option ''at the right moment.''

As shared by B/R Football, 2017 has been another banner year for Ronaldo in terms of silverware:

The speedster hasn't been at his best since the start of the new season, however, with just four goals in La Liga so far. Real trailed rivals Barcelona by eight points before Barca's Sunday evening match against Deportivo.

In Europe, things have gone smoother for the striker, who has already scored nine goals in the UEFA Champions League. Los Blancos only managed a second-placed finish in their group, however, and will face PSG in the knockout stages as a result.

Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Additions in January are expected, but even if Real decide to spend big, that shouldn't hurt their ability to give Ronaldo the kind of contract he wants.

Los Blancos are unlikely to turn down any request for a new deal even if he still has a long-term contract, as they would rather keep the veteran striker happy. There's no reason to believe the two sides couldn't come to some agreement, and Ronaldo certainly deserves to be the highest-paid player in the sport at this point.