Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka says Cristiano Ronaldo would be best served by re-signing with the Spanish giants.
Ronaldo’s contract expires in 2015 and there has been speculation this season the 28-year-old has become disillusioned with life at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and could seek a move away.
But, speaking after Real’s 6-2 thumping of Malaga on Wednesday, Karanka said the Portuguese star – who notched up his 200th Real Madrid goal in the win – should commit to the club long-term.
“Cristiano is a high-level player and I think his contract extension would be ideal for both, player and Real Madrid,” Karanka said.
“They can grow together. Real Madrid is the ideal place for him.”
Goals from Ronaldo, Albiol, Mesut Oezil, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Angel di Maria powered the win, but much of the talk after the match was about Jose Mourinho’s decision to drop Pepe.
Pepe and Mourinho became embroiled in a war of words last week after the Portuguese coach said he wished he had signed goalkeeper Diego Lopez earlier, prompting a riposte from Pepe, who felt the comment was disrespectful to club captain Iker Casillas.
But Karanka downplayed Pepe’s omission from the squad.
“The only thing that has happened for Pepe is that Rafa (Varane) is having a great performance,” he said.
“What I don’t get is that you all (the media) were pointing at Pepe and saying that he didn’t deserve to be playing in this team and now everything is support for him.
“I keep thinking Pepe is a first-class player, nothing’s changed my mind about it.”