Speculation has emerged in recent weeks that Juventus are considering the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Italian champions reportedly contemplating allowing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to leave in bid to recoup some of their record outlay.
Ronaldo signed for Juventus in a €100m deal from Real Madrid two years ago with the forward seen as the key to ending the club’s long wait for a Champions League title, though despite a wealth of domestic honours and goals, European success has so far proven elusive.
With the Portugal international set to turn 36-years-old in the New Year the Bianconeri are now understood to be contemplating his sale, Juventus prepared to sanction his departure in a bid to cut costs amid the financial difficulties brought on as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite his advancing years Ronaldo remains amongst the game’s greatest talents and is unlikely to be short of suitors should he leave next summer, and we’ve decided to look at some of the Portuguese’s potential destinations.
Here are the bookmaker’s five favourites to sign Cristiano Ronaldo:
Inter Miami – 9/1
After dominating European football for more than a decade could Ronaldo embark on a new challenge in the United States, with David Beckham’s MLS franchise Inter Miami regarded as 9/1 odds to sign the star.
Beckham is one of many world stars to have headed to MLS in the twilight of his career and the former England captain will be hoping to persuade a plethora of players to move to the US as the league continues to grow in both stature and quality.
Miami have already made a statement of intent by the signing of Ronaldo’s former Juventus teammates in Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, though the signing of the Portugal captain would represent the greatest coup in MLS history.
Ronaldo remains one of the world’s finest despite entering his mid-thirties and it would be a surprise to see a player – so driven by being the planet’s best throughout his career – essentially accelerate his retirement with a drop down to Major League Soccer.
Bayern Munich – 15/2
Bayern Munich have been priced as 15/2 odds to secure the signing of Ronaldo, in what would represent an intriguing move should it come to fruition.
Ronaldo has already represented the most successful sides in England, Spain and Italy in terms of league title success and would have a unique opportunity to become the first player in history to win a league title in each of Europe’s four biggest leagues.
His signing would represent a sizeable shift in transfer policy for Bayern, however, who are comparatively modest spenders to some of their free-spending European counterparts, having exceeded a transfer fee of £40m on just two occasions in their history.
Ronaldo would almost certainly cost more than that and it appears unlikely the Bavarians would sanction that figure for a player who turns 36 in February, despite his obvious appeal.
However, in a year that has seen more and more football fans asking what a VPN is as they look to watch the biggest games online, a move to the German superpower offers a guarantee of silverware few clubs can match.
Real Madrid – 5/1
Could Ronaldo make a romantic return to Real Madrid?
The forward left the Spanish champions two years ago as their all-time record goalscorer following a glittering career at the Bernabeu, one which delivered two league titles, four Champions League trophies and a staggering 450 goals in just 438 appearances.
Despite reclaiming the La Liga title last season Real have struggled to replicate their previous success since Ronaldo’s departure, their stranglehold on the Champions League – winning four trophies in five seasons between 2014 and 2018 – replaced with meek exits to Ajax and Manchester City over the past two campaigns.
Ronaldo has long starred on the European stage and his return would undoubtedly boost Real’s chances of reclaiming their position amongst the elite, with few clubs in world football quite as obsessed with the glamour of the Champions League.
Manchester United – 10/3
There appears to have been continued speculation linking Ronaldo with a return to Manchester United ever since his world-record departure in 2009, though it is a rumour that is gathering momentum of late with the Red Devils regarded as second favourites for his signature.
Ronaldo first signed for the club as a teenager before evolving into arguably the world’s finest footballer during six years in the Premier League, winning three consecutive league titles, the Champions League, two PFA Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d’Or before heading to Real Madrid.
There is a mutual affection between the player and supporters and there is widespread speculation that United have made a ‘formal enquiry’ into his availability, a signing which would certainly make a statement and lift the atmosphere around Old Trafford at present.
Ronaldo’s goalscoring record has shown no signs of slowing and he would add instant star appeal and quality to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ranks, with the Norwegian familiar with the player’s talents having played alongside the Portuguese during his formative years in English football.
Any deal for Ronaldo would be a short-term solution and would likely involve significant finances, though the commercial benefits of the former favourite’s return is likely to widen the eyes of Ed Woodward.
Paris Saint-Germain – 7/5
Regarded as favourites by the bookmakers are Paris Saint-Germain, a side who have demonstrated their willingness to splash the cash on superstar additions as they bid to finally conquer Europe.
The French champions have already discussed the possibility of bringing Ronaldo to the club, with sporting director, Leonardo, suggesting to PSGTV that the Parisian’s would likely make a move should the forward become available.
“Maybe tomorrow Cristiano Ronaldo wakes up and says I want to go play elsewhere.
“Who can buy him? It’s a closed circle. PSG enters this circle. Usually it is about opportunities, situations.
“The transfer window, we have to prepare for it and that’s what we do. We have our priorities, our lists, but something unforeseen can happen.”
The prospect of Ronaldo joining fellow sensations in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the PSG attack is a salivating proposition for football fans, a three-pronged attack as good as any seen in world football.
After last season’s final defeat to Bayern Munich, PSG may just gamble on the Champions League’s all-time record goalscorer in their bid to become champions of Europe for the first time.