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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo taking time to think over plans - Luis Campos

Lille director of football Luis Campos says Cristiano Ronaldo has told him he is "taking some time to think" over whether he should remain at Real Madrid due to his "sadness" at being accused of tax fraud by the Spanish authorities.

However, Campos told Telefoot he expects the Portugal international to remain with Madrid despite links with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

Ronaldo is to appear in court in Madrid on July 31 after being officially charged by the local tax authorities of a €14.7 million tax evasion, which has led to widespread speculation the 32-year-old could seek to leave Spain

Campos, who is close to Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes, was asked if PSG have a chance to taking advantage of the situation and replied: "I do not know.

"[Cristiano] has told me that he needs some days to think. That is normal. The situation with Real Madrid in these moments is a bit tense, which is normal too, but Cristiano will have time to make the right decision, I am sure about that."

Campos, who worked at Madrid as a transfer advisor to then coach Jose Mourinho during the 2012-13 campaign, said that "everything that had happened" had left his fellow Portuguese "saddened" and "hurt."

Cristiano Ronaldo, currently at the Confederations Cup, is said to be 'hurt' by recent events.

He added: "I have spoken with [Cristiano] this week, some messages. He is truly saddened with all that is happening at the moment. It is normal. Ronaldo is someone who focuses a lot on his work.

"He is very surprised at all this, and now he feels hurt by everything that is going on. He loves to have a good image everywhere, and is going through a difficult moment."

However, Campos said the most logical solution to the situation was for Ronaldo to remain at the Bernabeu.

"The best player at the world should be at the best club in the world," he said. "I am in agreement with that. And I believe that Real Madrid understand that, and that the best player in the world understands that too."

Madrid president Florentino Perez has played down the prospect of an exit for Ronaldo this summer, given that last November he extended his contract with the club until 2021.

Ex-Blancos midfielder Christian Karembeu told AS that the hierarchy at the Bernabeu should "look after" Ronaldo, who is record goal scorer and helped the club to La Liga and the Champions League last season.

"Every year he breaks records in La Liga and in Europe," Karembeu said. "He is a 'crack,' a pure talent. We must always look after him and take advantage of his experience to win trophies."

Karembeu, who played alongside Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane for France, joked that any sale would at least raise lots of money, before clarifying that he thought it best Madrid kept their "BBC" strikeforce of Ronaldo along with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

"Yes, he is under contract," Karembeu said. "Then if another club must pay loads of money, that is also good for Madrid [laughs]. I believe that on the pitch we always need Karim, Cristiano, Bale -- all of them -- because they have won things together, although 'Zizou' has the final call. Nothing more."

Karembeu also said his view was that Monaco's young France striker Kylian Mbappe was already thinking as a future Madrid player amid speculation over a world-record bid.

"Yes. I believe that [Mbappe's] heart and mind are already 'blanco,'" the La Liga ambassador said. "Then he must know what he wants, knowing that Madrid can win trophies, and that he also has potential to improve, above all with Zidane. I hope he signs."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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