MADRID, July 8 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo wants to play out the rest of his career at Real Madrid, club president Florentino Perez said in an interview on Monday.
The Portugal forward and former World Player of the Year has a contract with the Spanish giants until 2015 but media speculation has linked the 28-year-old with a possible move away from the Bernabeu.
“The person who wants to retire at Real Madrid is Ronaldo, and Real want him to retire here too,” Perez, who has just been returned for another four-year term as president, told broadcaster Univision in quotes carried in the Spanish media.
“There haven’t been any negotiations (on a new deal) because he is on holiday. Be in no doubt, Cristiano will retire here because he wants to. Just as (Zinedine) Zidane and other great players have done.”
Real have presented two new signings as they start to rebuild under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, with playmaker Isco and defender Dani Carvajal brought in from Malaga and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.
The nine-times European champions have been linked with a possible bid for Wales and Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale, but Perez played down the speculation.
“He is a great player that belongs to a club we are very friendly with,” he said. “But we haven’t made any offer.”
While Real are reportedly close to landing Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi, the future of Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain remains uncertain.
The 25-year-old said he wanted to leave the Bernabeu at the end of last season and he has been linked with interest from Arsenal.
“We don’t want him to go,” Perez said. “Furthermore, no one from Arsenal has been here to make any type of offer, not for 27 million euros, or anything.”
Real return to start pre-season training on July 15 and play their first warm up match away to Bournemouth, six days later. (Reporting by Mark Elkington, editing by justin Palmer)