Cristiano Ronaldo has decided to leave Real Madrid amid scrutiny in Spain over his tax affairs, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
Ronaldo’s representatives have strongly denied an accusation that the forward concealed earnings and defrauded the Spanish tax authorities out of €14.7million.
Madrid expressed “full confidence” in the Portugal international in a statement released on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old then published an Instagram post accompanied by a caption saying “Sometimes the best answer it’s [sic] to be quiet.”
However, a publication in his native Portugal has claimed the Ballon d’Or holder wishes to leave LaLiga after his country’s Confederations Cup campaign, stating “the decision is irreversible and he has already told the Real Madrid president.”
Spanish newspaper Marca, known for its close links to the Madrid hierarchy, subsequently claimed “stunned” club officials are seeking to reassure Ronaldo and convince the prized asset to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United have been touted as possible destinations should Ronaldo indeed seek to leave Zinedine Zidane’s Champions League winners.
Prosecutors in Madrid filed a complaint to a court in Pozuelo de Alarcon on Tuesday that accused the four-time Ballon d’Or winner of a “voluntary” and “conscious” breach of his tax obligations.
The complaint alleged Ronaldo created a “business structure” in 2010 to conceal earnings from image rights between 2011 and 2014.
However, Gestifute – the company owned by Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes – released a statement detailing their client’s arrangements for payments related to his image rights and insisted “there has never been concealment, or the slightest intention to conceal”.
Gestifute said the company, Tollin, does not amount to an offshore structure for evading taxes and was established in 2004 when Ronaldo signed for United.
Madrid have offered him their support and believe he will be proved innocent of any wrongdoing, as Ronaldo and Portugal prepare for their opening match of the Confederations Cup against Mexico in Kazan on Sunday.