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Don’t go, Zidane begs Ronaldo

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has contacted Cristiano Ronaldo in a bid to convince him to remain in Spain this summer amid reports that he has decided to leave the country.
Real Madrid said it would take a £350million deal to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club, which they expect to deter Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
The 32-year-old is upset at accusations from the Spanish authorities that he held £13million of earnings from image rights in the British Virgin Islands and the Republic of Ireland in order to avoid paying tax..
Ronaldo’s buy-out clause is set at £870m and though clearly no club — not even in China — could countenance meeting that, the Spanish newspaper with the closest links to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, Marca, is reporting that it would take a £350m deal for them even to consider selling Ronaldo.
His desire to leave the Bernabeu has been described as ‘irreversible’ but, according to Marca, Zidane launched an attempt to keep him at the club during a private phone call between the pair.
With the headline ‘Cris, I don’t want you to go’, the Madrid-based newspaper says Zidane told Ronaldo he remains vital to his project at the club and cited his competitive spirit and goals.
Whether it will be enough to convince him to stay remains to be seen, but if he is to leave then potential suitors have been warned that the cost of signing him could reach a staggering £350million.
Sportsmail understands Real Madrid want £175m in transfer fees while his wages over another four years will total a further £175m. With Ronaldo already making it clear he does not want to play in China, PSG and Manchester United remain the only possibilities.
While he remains one of the world’s best players and is likely to be crowned Ballon d’Or champion again for 2017, there is no denying that the Portuguese can no longer play at the same level as in his youth. Indeed, Zidane has frequently rested his star player against lesser opponents and even substituted him.
That could make the total financial package too much for any club to bear, but his marketability continues to grow with age.
Real Madrid will not give up their attempts to keep him with a meeting between Ronaldo, his advisers and president Florentino Perez set to take place when he returns from the Confederations Cup in Russia.

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