In the twilight of his career, the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, five times Ballon d’Or, who has one year left on his contract with Manchester United, intends to go to a club classified in the Champions League, a competition in which he is the top scorer, for one last challenge.
Due to that desire to leave, the 37-year-old striker was absent on Monday, for alleged “family reasons”, at the resumption of training for Manchester United internationals: nothing more was needed to relaunch the assumptions about an eventual departure from the club of its Portuguese star.
For the Spanish newspaper Marca there are no such “family reasons”, simply “Cristiano declares himself in absentia”. Ronaldo played in the Champions League for 19 consecutive seasons. The attacker would be very disappointed by the fact that Manchester United have not been able to qualify for next season in Europe’s top competition, having finished sixth in the Premier League in its last edition.
And despite the desire to leave United, as he did at the time of Real Madrid and Juventus, the leaders of Manchester United categorically affirm that Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale. However, the press affirms that the soccer player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, would have tested the ground with the leaders of Bayern Munich and Chelsea. But there would be other possible destinations for the veteran striker.
According to the Madrid newspaper AS, “at the moment, there are five teams that have already contacted Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese star’s agent, to convey their interest.”
Cristiano Ronaldo would continue his career in one of these clubs, according to the analysis made by AS this Tuesday.
The German club has been the first to take the step of taking an interest in Cristiano’s situation and transmitting its desire to have him, if Robert Lewandowski finally ends up going to Barcelona. On June 23, AS reported this. Despite the fact that Bayern’s sports director, Hasan Salihamidzic, denied any approach to Cristiano Ronaldo, the contacts between the German club and the footballer’s entourage remain. The Portuguese meets the requirements of the profile that Bayern is looking for to replace his star: that he ensures immediate performance, that he is a top-level player and age does not matter.
Just days after Todd Boehly became owner of Chelsea, he traveled to Portugal to meet Jorge Mendes. The new owner of the English club, with the approval of coach Thomas Tuchel, informed Cristiano’s agent of his desire to sign him. After the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, the London team is looking for a new benchmark in attack and wants that to be the crack of Manchester United. Jules Kounde was also discussed at that same meeting.
Last Monday, Jorge Mendes and Joan Laporta held a meeting in Barcelona until late at night and in it the name of Cristiano Ronaldo was put on the table. It remains to be seen if it was in the appetizers, the main course, or the dessert, but the survey has existed. Barcelona’s priority is to sign Lewandowski. Cristiano is an old dream of Laporta (president of the Catalans), who already tried to hire him the previous summer, but the financial situation of the club prevented him.
The penultimate club to which Cristiano has been linked is Napoli. The Italian team has sent the Portuguese striker their wish to make him the ‘new’ Diego Maradona of the entity. Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to revive the old laurels of the 80s, when Pelusa arrived in Naples, with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo. The owner of the Neapolitan club intends to give a blow to the Portuguese star.
Roma was one of the first clubs to take an interest in Cristiano. José Mourinho has been the great supporter of this movement. Despite the fact that the coach and the striker had their pluses and minuses during the time they coincided at Real Madrid, the Roma coach is aware that the arrival of his compatriot would mean a luxury reinforcement to try to win the Italian league and the Europa League. Precisely, not playing the Champions League is his main obstacle. (D)