Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: Five possible destinations for Real Madrid superstar
The Portuguese captain has reportedly told the club he wants to leave this summer in an 'irreversible' decision
Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to leave Real Madrid this summer, in a decision that has been described as “irreversible” by reports in his native Portugal.
The 32-year-old is understood to be furious with his treatment by Spanish tax authorities and wants to leave Spain after a lawsuit was brought against him accusing him of defrauding the taxpayer of nearly €15m.
Real Madrid released a statement following the lawsuit saying they were “absolutely convinced of his innocence” but Portuguese daily A Bola on Friday claimed that he is so “indignant” at what he feels amounts to persecution that he is ready to leave only weeks after winning his third Champions League with the club.
He has also communicated this decision to Florentino Perez, Real Madrid’s president.
Ronaldo will not be short of options should he get his way and leave the Spanish capital, with clubs all over the globe throwing money at him to sign him. The Independent looks at the five most likely destination for the Real Madrid superstar.
Manchester United would be keen to bring back Ronaldo to Old Trafford with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward obsessed with signing a star attraction every summer. He has so far been left frustrated in his attempts to land one this summer, with Antoine Griezmann ultimately rejecting the club’s advances.
Jose Mourinho is desperate for a new No 9 since deciding against renewing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract and given Ronaldo’s positional change from a wideman to a more central role, the Portuguese would be the perfect candidate.
Money would not be a problem for United and Woodward would dearly love to be the person to deliver the return of one of Old Trafford’s favourite sons. The No 7 shirt is free too.
PSG are long-term admirers of Ronaldo and held a number of secret meetings with him over a possible move to the French capital during the 2015/16 season.
Club president Nasser El-Khelaifi would jump at another chance to sign Ronaldo, even if there were suggestions he leveraged PSG's interest to boost the multi-million euro contract extension he signed last year.
PSG are currently undergoing a period of change having failed to win Ligue 1 for the first time since 2012 and have missed that star name since Ibrahimovic left 12 months ago. The chance at another world-record transfer bid and another world-record contract would attract Ronaldo, as would it his premier sponsors Nike, whom manufacture PSG’s kit and he has a lifetime deal with.
The Galaxy are the most attractive club in the MLS for European players since David Beckham and are searching for a star name of their own, with Ibrahimovic one of their leading contenders.
Money, again, wouldn’t be a problem, as they have space for a ‘designated player’ who, according to MLS rules, isn’t bound by a salary cap. The LA lifestyle would suit Ronaldo perfectly and give him an opportunity to enhance his brand and other enterprises by opening it to the American market.
However, Ronaldo is a winner with a fiercely competitive edge and while he has hinted at a US stint in the past, it is hard to imagine him going to a league with that low of a standard so soon after winning back-to-back Champions Leagues. His hopes of a fourth Ballon d’Or would evaporate with the move too.
Chinese clubs would be throwing money at Ronaldo’s feet like it’s going out of fashion. He could fetch up to £1m-a-week in China and again would expand his brand to the whole of the Asian market.
If money is Ronaldo’s only remaining motivation then China is the obvious choice and he could transcend the league into something respectable, like Beckham did to the MLS. But, yet again, it would almost certainly mean no Ballon d’Or.
Monaco have a substantial amount of money and with the bait of Kylian Mbappe dangling in front of Real Madrid, they could negotiate a very good deal for Ronaldo.
The 32-year-old’s agent and close friend Jorge Mendes has strong ties to the club and would ensure the best possible deal for Ronaldo. Also, living in Monaco, there wouldn’t be the same, or any, issues with tax.
He would have the finest lifestyle, be worshipped as a king and still be playing in the Champions League - Monaco ticks a lot more of the boxes than initially expected.
(© Independent News Service)