Cristiano Ronaldo’s fairytale return to Old Trafford did not quite go to plan. Granted, Ronaldo himself scored 24 goals in all competitions, but Manchester United were hugely reliable on his output, and the Red Devils failed to compete on any front.
Having first signed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ronaldo quickly found himself playing for Ralf Rangnick, and now a new man is at the helm in the shape of Erik ten Hag.
Stability is the last thing United can offer Ronaldo at the moment, and with the 37-year-old’s legendary career coming to an end, it’s hard to blame him if he wanted to be part of a more developed project.
Regardless of his age, Ronaldo will always have plenty of suitors around the globe, and there’s a handful of options that could tempt him into a move this summer.
Could we finally see Ronaldo play alongside Lionel Messi? It’s probably a decade too late to see the duo at the height of their powers, but it’d still be a magnificent nonetheless sight.
And the fantasy could become reality this summer if the French side go all out for his signature. They’re the favorites to land him if he leaves Old Trafford.
What’s more, with only one year remaining on his contract, Ronaldo’s transfer wouldn’t demand much of a fee – it’d be his wages that could trip up the Parisian side.
But if the reports are true about PSG wanting to offload Neymar, then his departure would certainly leave a gap only capable of being filled by one of the world best.
If we’re going to go one step further, then could we even see a swap deal between United and PSG? Of course it’s very unlikely, but never say never.
Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United has not seen any trophies this season but surely that would not be the case if he went back to Madrid.
Under Carlo Ancelotti, the Spanish side have just won the double, finishing a whopping 13 points ahead of rivals Barcelona to win La Liga, and then toppling Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League to win a record 14th European title.
If it’s more silverware that Ronaldo is after, then Real Madrid is his best option. Plus, having just missed out on Kylian Mbappe’s signature, Ronaldo could help Madristas quickly forget about the Frenchman snubbing them for PSG.
Having already become Madrid’s top goal scorer with a mind-boggling 450 goals in 438 games, there’s not much more for Portugal international to achieve there, but another Champions League trophy wouldn’t do any harm.
Ronaldo has previously spoken about returning to his roots before hanging up his boots, so if he thinks retirement is on the horizon, he could well pay homage to Sporting Lisbon by finishing his career there.
He joined the Portuguese side back in 2002 and quickly cemented his place in the first team. They were the first club to give him an opportunity, and Ronaldo has never forgotten that.
It’d take some working out financially, with Lisbon definitely not able to match the wages on offer from other European powerhouses. But if Ronaldo is set on moving there, he won’t mind taking a pay cut for a season or two.
It’d be a fitting last chapter in a legendary career, and it’d be hard for it to go worse than his Manchester United return did. Don’t rule it out.
Bayern Munich are often known for making smart moves in the transfer window, with many of their young, shrewd signings going on to become European superstars in football.
But with 33-year-old Robert Lewandowski announcing his departure this summer, Julian Nagelsmann’s side are suddenly lacking an experienced figure in the dressing room.
Ronaldo ticks all the boxes as Lewandowski’s replacement, so while it would definitely be a short term deal, the 37-year-old could help bring invaluable experience and his winning mentality to the side.
It’s a transfer that usually Bayern would stay away from, but everyone makes exceptions sometimes, especially for one of the world’s greatest ever players.
Despite spending three seasons in Italy, Ronaldo may feel there’s some unfinished business in Turin.
He left Juventus last summer with the Italian club having only just scraped Champions League qualification, and he never was able to deliver them the European success they’re so desperate for.
But The Old Lady are already making moves in the transfer window, with both Angel Di Maria and Paul Pogba close to joining the club.
Adding Ronaldo on top would be a serious sign of intent from Juventus, who not only need to succeed in Europe, but also need to regain domestic control of Serie A after two consecutive fourth-placed finishes.
Now with the funds to compete with Europe’s best, it’s likely that Newcastle will want a marquee signing to kickstart their new project.
The Magpies won’t want to sit around too long before they start competing, and we all know investment is inevitable in the summer.
If Ronaldo is up for grabs, expect Newcastle to be in the mix for his signature. The Tyneside club won’t care about finances or wages if Ronaldo is able to propel them to the next level and help them qualify for Europe.
Being unable to offer him European football this season is definitely a stumbling block in negotiations, but money talks, and Newcastle have plenty of it.
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