There had been a growing sense that Cristiano Ronaldo might force his way out of Real Madrid, so it wasn’t a great surprise when the Portuguese forward signed for Juventus in the summer of 2018. Two years later, there are similar noises coming out of the Ronaldo camp. 35-year-old Ronaldo could be preparing his next move but who could his next club be?
Indeed, Ronaldo is reportedly open to the notion of leaving Juventus at the end of the season, with the financial stresses currently being experienced by Serie A club also a factor. It’s understood he is on wages of £540,000-a-week. Unloading that salary would ease a lot of the burden on the Old Lady. Speculation is already swirling over potential suitors. As arguably the greatest player of all time, Ronaldo will have offers if he is to leave Juventus. His stock might not be as high as it was a few years ago, but it’s still higher than most players’.
Paris Saint-Germain have been mentioned as a possible next club for Ronaldo. In the French capital, Ronaldo would be presented with the chance to pick up another league title having already won trophies in England, Spain and Italy and there would surely be an appeal to ticking another country off his list.
Ligue 1 is far from the ‘farmer’s league’ it is widely painted as but it is a weaker division than Serie A. This might be a kinder environment for Ronaldo at this stage of his career. What’s more, PSG are a team capable of winning the competition Ronaldo values more than any other – the Champions League. The Portuguese forward could be the one to finally get them over the line in this regard.
However, PSG sporting director Leonardo recently revealed some financial troubles being experienced at the Parc des Princes. The club is currently in contract talks with Angel di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in an attempt to bring down the wage bill in light of the challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic. At this point in time, would PSG be able to take on Ronaldo’s wages?
Speculation has also focused on a return to Manchester United. The Old Trafford outfit are one of the few clubs in European who could feasibly afford Ronaldo’s wages and in Paul Pogba they might have a bargaining chip to use to strike a deal with Juventus. What’s more, Edinson Cavani is only at United on an initial one-year deal. They could be in the market for another centre forward next summer.
Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United would be undeniably romantic, but the Premier League would ask questions of the 35-year-old’s physicality he might not be able to answer. Furthermore, United might be better looking to the future, channelling their resources into finding future performers over splurging money on a fading star.
One possibility, which has been mooted by some in the Spanish media, is a return to Real Madrid. While Los Blancos won La Liga last season, they haven’t moved on from the Ronaldo era. Indeed, the Portuguese forward would slot back into a team that is largely untouched from the one he left in the 2018 summer transfer window. Zinedine Zidane knows how to get the best out of Ronaldo and he too is still at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A move to MLS has also been suggested, and it does seem inevitable that Ronaldo will pitch up on the other side of the Atlantic at one point in the future, even if it isn’t his next club as he still has plenty to offer at the elite level of the European game. This is a player who has scored six goals in just four league appearances this season on top of 31 goals in 33 league appearances last season.
The Covid-19 pandemic might have narrowed Ronaldo’s options somewhat, but a player of his stature and ability will still have a number of routes to choose from should he decide to leave Juventus. The decision Ronaldo makes at the end of the season will define the final stage of his illustrious career.
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