REAL MADRID | CRISTIANO
Florentino and Cristiano to hold showdown talks in May
Florentino is well aware that offering Cristiano a new contract is a fundamental issue, especially with the Madrid presidential elections set to take place in the summer.
Florentino Pérez and Cristiano Ronaldo will hold talks in May at the end of the season to try and resolve the situation surrounding the Portuguese forward's new contract.
The club have still not made a single offer to the player, and are waiting until season has come to an end before trying to convince him to pen a new deal.
For now, Cristiano's agent Jorge Mendes has told Florentino his client is pleased the meeting will take place, as only a few weeks ago his intention was to see out the final two and a half seasons on his contract before leaving the club.
On 1 September last year, Cristiano told Florentino he was planning on leaving Madrid as he was disappointed with the president's treatment of him. But now he wants to hear from the man who considers him to be the cornerstone of Madrid's future.
Cristiano's entourage, especially Mendes, have attached great importance to convincing him to listen to and weigh up the club's offer. The agent could be the hinge that helps the player and president iron out their differences. But in addition to his agent's advice, Cristiano has viewed the change in his situation at the club positively.
The support and love Cristiano now feels from the Bernabéu is hugely significant. Before, when he made a mistake during a game the fans would boo him. Now they sing his name even louder.
But it's not just the fans who have taken to Cristiano, but the team dressing room as well. His team-mates recognise his leadership and his decisions in the group are becoming ever more important. Iker Casillas even let him keep the captain's armband on when he came on as a substitute in the game against Real Sociedad in January.
Cristiano was also pleased to see Florentino Pérez supporting him at the Ballon d'Or award ceremony in Zurich in January. After all, the fact that the president did not attend the UEFA awards last August was a crucial factor in Cristiano believing he was underappreciated by Florentino. The fact that he made the president aware of his feelings days later and was met with the response "if you want to go, I'll use the money we get for you to buy Messi" lead Cristiano to reveal in an interview after Madrid's 3-0 win over Granada the next day that he was "sad" at the club.
However, Florentino is well aware that offering Cristiano a new contract is a fundamental issue. He knows he is the team's undisputable bastion, and what's more, Madrid's presidential elections are not far away.
Announcing that Cristiano will renew his contract would be the ideal trump card for the elections and is more important than any other signing. There is no player out there that will get Madrid fans more excited than the Portuguese.
But to secure a new deal for him, he will have to not only convince him with money, but with endearment too, as Cristiano himself has grown tired of repeating that signing a new contract will not depend on economic factors, as he declared in an interview with AS earlier this month: "I swear on my son's life that my sadness had nothing to do with money."
Nonetheless, Cristiano joined Madrid in 2009 as the best paid player in the world, alongside Kaká, but at the moment is not even among the top five.
Therefore, the club will have to dig deep into their pockets to reward his extraordinary performances on the pitch.
If Florentino and Cristiano cannot come to any agreement at this meeting, the president will have to decide if he sells his star in the summer or if he lets him complete the final two years of his contract before leaving for free in 2015.