The competition to sign Cristiano Ronaldo may not be as hot as initially imagined, as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is running out of alternatives as he prepares to leave Manchester United.
Manchester United has been shocked by the revelation that Cristiano Ronaldo wants to quit the club, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is having a more difficult time finding a new home than first believed.
Ronaldo is said to have asked to leave United after less than a year due to the club’s inability to qualify for the Champions League, and his pay cut can’t have helped matters. Chelsea was among the clubs offered Ronaldo by agency Jorge Mendes, with Bayern Munich great Lothar Matthaus teasing the Bundesliga by stating a move to the Allianz would be sexy.’
However, Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn has declared that the club is not interested, and with Chelsea signing Raheem Sterling, a move to Stamford Bridge is doubtful. Ronaldo’s stance remains unchanged, but his pool of potential suitors is shrinking.
Chelsea was initially interested in signing Ronaldo, with Todd Boehly discussing a potential deal to kick off his new ownership. However, sources said that Thomas Tuchel was not as eager to go ahead with the transaction, and their acquisition of Sterling may have already slammed the door for Ronaldo.
That leaves only a few potential clubs capable of not only providing elite Champions League football but also paying Ronaldo the needed salary. Bayern was one among them until Kahn snuffed out any reports.
“As much as I admire Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the greatest players of all time, a transfer would not fit into our ideology,” Kahn told the German daily Kicker. “Ronaldo to Bayern would be sexy!” Matthaus told Sky Germany.
“At the very least, you should consider your options and run them through once.” Although a move to Chelsea would have been a reach, moves to Liverpool and Manchester City would very certainly ruin Ronaldo’s legacy, therefore they are off the table.
There are just four clubs in Germany that could entertain a Ronaldo trade. Ronaldo might return to Juventus or Real Madrid, but both clubs have progressed since he departed.
Ronaldo would receive the same treatment as Luis Figo if he moved to Barcelona, and the Catalan club couldn’t afford it anyhow. That leaves PSG, and with Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappe already at the club, there may be a conflict of interest. Ronaldo’s choices are not as healthy as initially anticipated, making for an intriguing transfer scenario.