In a transfer market where we’ve already seen the young prodigy Erling Haaland move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City; Liverpool paying 75 million euros to SL Benfica, plus 25 million in goals, for Darwin; Romelu Lukaku to return on a loan of eight million euros to Inter Milan, who in the last summer closed received more than 100 million euros for the signing of the Belgian striker; among so many other businesses worth mentioning, from Sadio Mané to Raphinha, the big issue that dominates the market is what hasn’t happened yet: the decision regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
After being in the spotlight of the transfer window in 2021 when he returned to Manchester United, the club that launched him to the highest level of football, where he won the first Champions League and won the first Ballon d’Or, after three seasons at the service of Juventus, the captain of the Portuguese team is back in the spotlight for, allegedly, forcing a departure from the English team that, officially, only said that the number 7 shirt is not for sale and that they count on him for the next season.
In early July, the Red Devils began preparing for pre-season without Ronaldo. The Portuguese did not join the team at the training center due to a “family problem” and ended up not joining the squad on the summer tour that took place in Thailand and Australia, with the club evoking the same reasons.
At the same time, the English and international sports press claimed that the 37-year-old forward was not willing to lose one of the last years of his career to play in a secondary European competition such as the Europa League, after, in the last edition of the Premier League, United have been 13 points away from the last place that would allow them to compete in the Champions League, a competition where the Portuguese is ‘king and lord’, adding five trophies and the record for the best scorer ever with a total of 141 goals. In Portugal, for example, Correio da Manhã reported that the reason for an eventual departure from Manchester was not sporting, but personal, with the player’s girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, playing a leading role in the decision not to return to the English city. , after in the last pregnancy one of the two twins she was pregnant with died.
Regardless of the reason, which never had an official echo by Cristiano Ronaldo himself, the agent Jorge Mendes or the Madeiran’s family, the last few weeks have drawn different destinations for the player.
Paris-Saint Germain was seen as a destination, especially when it appeared as a possible departure for Neymar Jr. from the French capital. Bayern Munich too, with the transfer of Lewandowski to Barcelona. Chelsea, now owned by American businessman Todd Boehly, was a target destination. A possible return to Sporting CP, the club where Ronaldo formed, was mentioned, the project of making Ronaldo an idol in Naples, like Diego Armando Maradona, also appeared in the newspapers that still in Italy mentioned a possible reunion with José Mourinho at AS Roma . In Spain, they also pointed to the possibility of FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid, the main rivals of Real Madrid, a club that the Portuguese represented and where he achieved the greatest achievements of his career for 10 years. There was also talk of a proposal for astronomical values from Saudi Arabia, which was promptly rejected.
Many of these rumors were based on Jorge Mendes’ trips, trips to Portugal by managers or representatives of these clubs or simply the logic of football fans that, almost automatically, outlines possible destinations for one of the best footballers of all. the times.
To date, no deal has materialized. The FC Barcelona hypothesis was not followed up, with the president of the Catalans confirming a meeting with Mendes, but refusing to discuss player names. The Roma hypothesis fell by the logic, since the club guided by Mourinho will compete, like United, in the Europa League and not the Champions League. The Chelsea hypothesis was vetoed, according to the press, by Thomas Tuchel himself, the coach who led the Blues to the Champions League in 2021 and to whom Boehly will have given absolute powers with regard to transfers. The Bayer Munich hypothesis has been ruled out by the Bavarian club which on several occasions, including today, has claimed that signing a 37-year-old player, even if it is Cristian Ronaldo, does not fit the club’s “philosophy”. The PSG hypothesis, which was never strong, seems to have dropped after Neymar said he would stay in France. The Sporting hypothesis, fueled by an alleged photo of one of the Portugal national team captain’s cars in the garage of the Alvalade stadium, was denied by Sporting in an Instagram post by Sport TV. The Atletico Madrid hypothesis, which had gained strength in recent days, was, on Tuesday, discredited by the president of the Madrid club himself.
In theory, the Naples hypothesis remains. The southern Italian club took third place in the last edition of Serie A and will discuss the Champions League. However, if it is true that the Neapolitan team has improved year after year, being able to discuss the Italian league, but still far from fighting for the ‘early’, the truth is that in this closed season it lost two of the greatest football references of the team that allowed him in recent seasons to dispute higher flights: Koulibaly and Insigne. According to what was reported by the international press, at the beginning of the summer, one of the situations that most worried Ronaldo in relation to United was the lack of great signings.
Yesterday, July 26, the Portuguese international was photographed arriving in Carrington, where Manchester United’s training center is located, accompanied by Jorge Mendes, for a meeting about his future, where the main names of the club’s administration will have been present. , Erik ten Hag, coach, and Alex Ferguson, legend of the Red Devils coaching staff, former coach of CR7 at United and the main reason the forward returned to England in 2021.
The meeting ended with the press stating that Ronaldo assured that he wanted to leave the club, but once again nothing was said officially. Not for the emblem, not for the player, not for other clubs.
The soap opera runs in the newspapers, without anything concrete being said, but with the player still absent from the team’s training. The rumors, those, changed their tone, with the forward that would have a place in any team to see the doors close, one after one.