Cristiano Ronaldo failed to engineer his desired exit from Manchester United during the summer, with a number of leading clubs declining the chance to sign the unsettled forward.
Ronaldo expressed a desire to leave United after the club’s failure to secure Champions League football, but found suitors in short supply. The Portugal captain has since had to settle for a bit-part role in Erik ten Hag’s plans, with his unrest surfacing after a refusal to come on as a substitute against Spurs recently.
He has since returned to the first-team fold, but speculation continues to intensify that Ronaldo will push for an exit in the winter window. So for those of you who are always interested to find out more information on the best online gambling deals, we’ve decided to look at the favourites to sign him.
Paris Saint-Germain – 12/1
Paris Saint-Germain are hardly short of superstar firepower right now, with the French champions boasting the most high-profile forward line in world football.
Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi have all began the season in scintillating form, with a combined 25 goals and 18 assists in Ligue 1 during the current campaign to date.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 26, 2022
While there appears harmony on the pitch between the trio with some encouraging patterns of play in recent weeks, rumours circulated this month that Mbappe is keen to quit the club. The France international turned down Real Madrid to sign a new deal during the summer, but apparent ‘broken promises’ from the board have reportedly left the forward unhappy at the Parc des Princes.
It remains to be seen whether any side could finance a deal to prise him from Paris, but Ronaldo could offer a big name – if short-term – replacement. The prospect of old adversaries Ronaldo and Messi forming part of the same team would no doubt fascinate the masses.
The Last Dance for two greats of the game.
Napoli – 12/1
Napoli continue to be linked with Ronaldo, who would reportedly be open to a return to Italy.
Ronaldo spent three seasons at Juventus before his return to Manchester United, where he scored 101 goals in 134 appearances, won two Serie A titles and was twice named as Serie A Footballer of the Year.
Napoli, however, have chosen a different recruitment process in recent windows and it is one that appears to be beginning to deliver success. A focus on emerging talent has seen Napoli become one of Europe’s most impressive teams so far this season, leading the Serie A title race and remaining unbeaten both domestically and in the Champions League.
Napoli are on fire this season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/C7efHxMdoD
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 24, 2022
The arrival of a 37-year-old Ronaldo could upset the balance of a team in fine groove at present, with the likes of Victor Osimhen (23), Giacomo Raspadori (22) and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (21) earning rave reviews at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Sporting Lisbon – 7/1
Ronaldo could make a romantic return to Sporting Lisbon, with the Portuguese side priced at 7/1 to re-sign their former academy graduate.
Ronaldo came through the ranks at Sporting and made 31 appearances for the senior side before his precocious talents were first snapped up by Manchester United.
A return to Portugal would bring Ronaldo closer to his family ties in Madeira, while Sporting can provide the forward with a project to compete for domestic honours and on the Champions League stage.
The Portuguese side remain in contention to reach the knockout rounds and progress will be crucial to Sporting’s hopes of signing Ronaldo, though question marks remain over how the club would finance a deal.
"We don't have the money to pay his wages" 💰
Sporting coach, Rúben Amorim rules out a move to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club ❌pic.twitter.com/mqswBuBKpH
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 26, 2022
The club’s manager, Ruben Amorin, hinted finances would prove problematic despite a desire to bring Ronaldo back to the club.
“Ronaldo is a top player,” Amorin said at his Champions League pre-match press conference this week.
“He is a Manchester United player. Everybody in Sporting dreams of the return for Cristiano but we don’t have the money to pay his wages.”
Chelsea – 4/1
Chelsea were first linked with signing Ronaldo during the summer, in what would represent a stunning transfer.
Todd Boehly had been interested in a deal to bring Ronaldo to Stamford Bridge, as the American owner looked to make a statement during the early period of his reign in west London. Thomas Tuchel is understood to have decided against a deal, but the German has since been replaced as head coach.
"F*** Ronaldo. No player is bigger than the club" 😮
Should Todd Boehly & Graham Potter sign Cristiano Ronaldo this January? 🔵 pic.twitter.com/6JFXQwWAHd
— Chelsea FC News (@Chelsea_FL) October 24, 2022
Could Graham Potter be persuaded to add Ronaldo to his ranks? Chelsea have struggled for goal threat this season, while Potter’s sides have notoriously been productive in chance creation and wasteful around goal.
Adding one of the greatest goalscorers of all time to the club could help resolve that issue.
Any MLS Club – 4/1
A move to Major League Soccer has also been suggested for Ronaldo, with a move to any side in the United States priced at 4/1.
David Beckham’s Inter Miami franchise, managed by Ronaldo’s former United teammate Phil Neville, have been credited with an interest, while Los Angeles duo LA Galaxy and LAFC have also been linked with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Ronaldo’s initial want to leave United came amid a desire to play Champions League football, as the 37-year-old sought to cement his individual records as the competition’s leading goalscorer, appearance maker and assist provider.
Few Champions League clubs came calling during the summer however, with the only concrete offer from the Middle East. Should a similar situation arise, MLS could emerge as a more attractive destination.