It might just be posturing. Cristiano Ronaldo might just be flexing his muscles. Trying to get one big last contract out of Real Madrid.
Or it might be completely true. Ronaldo is fed up having been part of the Spanish version of HMRC’s witch hunt against footballers. Finds the £13m fine for unpaid tax to be excessive, and wants to pack up his bags and leave.
My personal bet is it is just posturing. Ronaldo wants Real Madrid to foot his tax bill. They pay, he stays. They don’t, he then has a decision to make. But if he does leave, what ramifications will it have for world football? The great players in the world leaving for a world record fee will have a ripple affect throughout the global game.
Chelsea, for example, will be quaking in their boots. Real Madrid were already targeting Eden Hazard this summer. Losing Ronaldo will just make them chase the Belgium international even more aggressively. Already set to lose Diego Costa, to lose Hazard as well will spell disaster for the English champions.
But what could Ronaldo’s move, probably to Manchester United, mean for Arsenal?
With Ronaldo leaving, Real Madrid will not want to lose any other of their Galácticos. Potential Arsenal targets like of Gareth Bale, Isco or James Rodriguez will be stopped from exiting the club.
Young start Marco Asensio, who has recently voiced his concern of a big name player coming in and taking his place, would also be told in no uncertain terms you aint going anywhere mate.
If Ronaldo leaves, there will be o further departures at Madrid.
Just a few weeks ago, Arsenal looked to have taken pole position in the race for the talented Frenchman. Since then, things have gone a little quiet, with Arsenal instead being linked with Alexandre Lacazette.
If Ronaldo joins Manchester United for anything above £100m, Real Madrid will then have the cash to immediately make a down payment to Monaco for Mbappe.
They have followed him since he was 14, and whilst the £100m price tag for an 18 year old with such little experience is high, selling Ronaldo and signing Mbappe balances the books.
I would not be surprised if a deal for Mbappe is done within days of Ronaldo leaving.
And what for Alexis Sanchez?
If Ronaldo does go, Arsenal might have a ready made Real Madrid replacement for him in Alexis Sanchez. Could losing Ronaldo force Madrid into entering the race for the former Barcelona man? It would not surprise me.
Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid could change the transfer plans of every top side in Europe.