The rumours linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to Real Madrid have spread like wildfire in this past week, with neither the player nor the club moving to pour cold water on them as noted by Diario AS. Cristiano likes the idea, and Madrid could certainly use him given the financial difficulties they face in engineering moves for Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. The major obstacle, however, is the Portuguese’s salary.
Cristiano is currently collecting €31m net per season at Juventus, a significant outlay for a club that lost €113.7m in the first six months of this season due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This has been exacerbated by their exit in the last 16 of the Champions League last week at the hands of Porto. For this, there’s actually a possibility that Juventus could let Ronaldo leave the club for free despite the fact he has a contract until 2022, simply to save the money they would otherwise spend on his wages. It’s estimated Cristiano takes up a fifth of Juventus’ wage bill.
Cristiano earned €21m net when he left Madrid for €100m in the summer of 2018, but their financial situation is very different now to what it was then. The Portuguese will have to make an effort to lower his salary to enable Madrid to fit him into their wage structure, especially with the acquisitions of Haaland and Mbappe potentially on the horizon. Whether Gareth Bale stays in the Spanish capital next season will also have significant bearing.