Abuja – Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is not happy at being accused of tax fraud and wants to leave the club, a source close to the player said on Friday.
Spanish prosecutors have accused the 32-year-old Ronaldo of defrauding the authorities of millions of euros in tax.
Though he has since denied any wrongdoing, but the source who wanted anonymity said the accusation has upset the Portugal captain.
“He feels he’s honest, has good character and did everything OK,” added the source.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ronaldo’s Real Madrid contract has a 1 billion euro (about £874.88 million, or N450 billion) release clause.
“He’s very sad and really upset. He doesn’t want to stay in Spain. At this moment, he wants to leave,’’ the source added.
Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid from English side Manchester United for £80 million (about N40 billion) in 2009, signed a five-year deal with the European champions in November 2016.
China would be one potential destination but the Portuguese forward’s advisers would prefer he stayed in Europe, most likely either moving to Paris St-Germain or returning to the Premier League.
Ronaldo, who has helped Real win the Champions League three times and La Liga twice, is accused of evading tax to the value of 14.7m euros (£13m; $16m) between 2011 and 2014.
Already, Real Madrid have released a statement saying they had “full confidence” in their player, and they were convinced he would prove his innocence.
In the 2016/2017 season, Ronaldo helped Real win the Spanish title for the first time since 2012 as well as retain the UEFA Champions League.
Ronaldo, who also won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008, has scored a record 105 goals in the competition, 11 more than FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, his nearest challenger