Ron turned down Chinese mega deal as Real 'is his life'

MADRID • Cristiano Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, has claimed that his client has rejected a deal from an unnamed Chinese club that would have involved offering Real Madrid €300 million (S$457.3 million) to sign the Portuguese forward and paying him more than €100 million a year in wages.

He said the 31-year-old Portugal captain had no interest in the deal.

"Money is not everything; the Spanish club is his life," Mendes told Sky Sports Italia. "The Chinese market is a new market. They can buy a lot of players, but then again it is impossible to go for Ronaldo.

"Cristiano is the best player in the world and best ever. It is normal to have some offers.

"He won the European Championship with Portugal, it's like winning the Italian league with Genoa: they were not the favourites."

The transfer offer, if genuine, would eclipse the world-record £93.2 million (S$165.7 million) Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba in August. Ronaldo would also have earned £1.6 million a week.

Ronaldo, who won the Ballon d'Or award for the fourth time last month, joined from United for £80 million in 2009 and pulls in close to €42 million in total income a year.

He said last month that he could play for another 10 years after signing a new deal until June 2021.

Mendes' claim comes after the 32-year-old former Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez signed for Shanghai Shenhua in a deal worth £615,000 a week on Thursday and Brazilian midfielder Oscar moved from Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG last week in a deal believed to be worth £52 million .

According to a source close to Tevez, the 32-year-old former United and Manchester City striker will make around €38 million a season - making him the biggest-earning footballer in the world.

Tevez previously banked a relatively modest €2 million a season with Boca Juniors.

According to Portuguese media, Ronaldo earns €23.6 million a season while Barcelona star Lionel Messi boasts a salary of €20 million.

Ronaldo and Messi are also lagging behind Oscar, whose switch last week guarantees him €24 million each season.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'Ron turned down Chinese mega deal as Real 'is his life''. Print Edition | Subscribe