Cristiano Ronaldo’s reported unhappiness in Spain will have some of the biggest clubs in world football on alert in a bid to sign the Real Madrid forward.
Here, we assess possible destinations for the 32-year-old, and which of those clubs could afford the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Ronaldo has made no secret of his affection for United – the club he left to join Madrid in 2009 after six years at Old Trafford – and there is no doubt boss Jose Mourinho would welcome his compatriot with open arms. United struggled in front of goal last term and, with the crocked Zlatan Ibrahimovic already released, there is a slot ready to be filled up front. The Red Devils are certainly one of the few clubs capable of putting together a financial package to re-sign the Portugal captain, as they are predicting record revenues of up to £570million this year.
PARIS ST GERMAIN
The deposed Ligue 1 champions will be in the market to make a statement this summer and the club’s wealthy Qatari owners will certainly be keen to bring Ronaldo to Paris. Rumours of a possible switch to the Parc des Princes have persisted for the past few years and this could be their best chance to finally snap up the former Sporting Lisbon star. A fee well in excess of £100million would be no barrier for PSG and they could match any European side in the war of the astronomical wages.
CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE
Should Ronaldo be tempted by the highest bidder, then he need look no further than potential interest from China. Former United striker Carlos Tevez picks up around Â£615,000-a-week at Shanghai Shenhua so Ronaldo can expect to earn a mind-boggling figure – perhaps pushing £50million per season. Whether he wants to pursue a career in the Far East is another matter. Ronaldo is still Real’s outstanding player and will feel he has a lot more to offer at the very highest level.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Los Angeles Galaxy have made some big signings in the past – David Beckham and Steven Gerrard among them – but luring a world-class talent like Ronaldo at the peak of his powers would be a huge statement. Ronaldo would have no qualms about the lifestyle on offer in California but the standard of competition could again be a factor. The mega-rich Seattle Sounders could be another possible destination for Ronaldo in the United States, but it is unlikely.
Given Ronaldo’s history at rivals Manchester United – where he won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup twice and the Champions League in 2008 – a switch to the Etihad Stadium appears remote. City can afford him, but it is highly unlikely Pep Guardiola would sanction a move for the 32-year-old given the abundance of attacking talent already at the club. However, should Ronaldo make any indication he favours a move to the blue half of Manchester, it would not be beyond the realms of possibility.