MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid should resist Cristiano Ronaldo’s demands for a bumper new contract even if it leads to their all-time top scorer leaving the La Liga club, Real great Manolo Sanchis said on Wednesday.
According to various reports in the Spanish media Ronaldo is in the middle of a stand-off with Real president Florentino Perez, who is unwilling to offer the floundering Portuguese striker a salary hike.
Ronaldo, 32, signed his last deal with Real in November 2016 until June 2021, but is reported to be demanding another new deal to bring his salary in line with Lionel Messi and Neymar, the top two earners in world soccer.
“Madrid don’t need to increase his (Ronaldo’s) salary,” Sanchis told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope on Wednesday.
“If Madrid collapse this season, he will be on his way out. (Alfredo) Di Stefano left Madrid so anyone can leave now without it causing a big drama.”
Former Spain defender Sanchis spent his entire career with Real Madrid, winning eight Liga titles and two Champions Leagues between 1983 and 2001.
Ronaldo collected a joint-record fifth Ballon d’Or award in December but has only scored four times in La Liga this season, a huge factor in the Spanish and European champions limp title defence.
Real have fallen a remarkable 19 points behind runaway league leaders Barcelona and are currently fourth in the standings, trailing second-placed Atletico Madrid by 10 points and third-placed Valencia by eight, although they have played one game less.
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge