Cristiano Ronaldo’s future appears uncertain following a disastrous campaign for Juventus, the Italian giants in real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification following a humbling 3-0 defeat to AC Milan.
Having dominated Serie A over the past decade with nine consecutive league titles, the Bianconeri have regressed under the management of Andrea Pirlo this season and sit fifth in the division with just three games remaining.
Missing out on Europe’s elite could lead to the departure of several leading names including Ronaldo, a scenario deemed inconceivable when spending £110m to sign the Portugal superstar from Real Madrid in a bid to win the Champions League just three years ago.
Ronaldo’s sporting desires and the financial impact of an absence from Champions League football could see the five-time Ballon d’Or winner make another huge transfer this summer.
Ronaldo, who led his country Portugal to win EURO 2016 in France, is again favored at euro 2020 betting tips to be able defend its title. The relentless attacker will no doubt be aiming to further cement his place as his country’s best ever player.
EURO 2020 could be the last trophy for his country considering his age right now. But of course Ronaldo will pursue his dream to lead Portugal in the 2022 World Cup.
Here are the five favourites to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sporting Lisbon – 25/1
Ronaldo came through the academy ranks at Sporting Lisbon and has been priced at 25/1 odds to make a romantic return to his first side, with the Portuguese outfit closing in on a first league title in almost two decades this season.
Sporting are unbeaten in the league this season and set to make a return to the Champions League as title winners, providing Ronaldo with a potential platform to continue his legacy in Europe’s elite competition.
However, despite the romanticism of Ronaldo returning to his homeland, Sporting are unlikely to compete for Champions League success and lack the finances that would be required to sign a player who remains one of world football’s best.
Wolves – who boast no shortage of Portuguese players at Molineux – can also be found at 25/1.
Any MLS side – 16/1
Football in the United States has made huge progress over the past decade with a number of leading names having headed to MLS in the twilight of their careers, the likes of David Beckham, Thierry Henry and David Villa amongst those to have raised the profile of the game in the country.
Signing Ronaldo would take up the interest to a whole new level with the Portugal international ranked behind only Lionel Messi as the world’s most marketable athlete last year, the arrival of one of world football’s biggest names holding the potential to have a huge impact on MLS.
David Beckham’s franchise club, Inter Miami, have been linked and have former Juventus teammates Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi amongst their ranks, but is Ronaldo really ready to head to a league often labelled as a retirement home for Europe’s best?
Ronaldo has scored 34 goals in all competitions this season and is Serie A’s leading scorer, hardly the form that screams he is prepared to take a step down in the level of his competition.
Paris Saint-Germain – 12/1
Amongst the few clubs in world football seemingly capable of financing a deal for the 36-year-old, PSG have been priced as 12/1 third favourites to tempt Ronaldo to the French capital.
PSG boast arguably the most formidable forward line in world football with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe amongst their ranks, but have fallen just short of Champions League success in recent campaigns after finishing as runners-up and semi-finalists over the past two campaigns.
Adding the competition’s all-time leading scorer would make PSG an even more daunting prospect for opposition defences, though a deal perhaps hinges on whether Mbappe departs this summer.
The France international’s future remains uncertain as he enters the final year of his contract in Paris, with Ronaldo offering a fine – if short-term – replacement for the club’s leading scorer.
Real Madrid – 10/1
The second of Ronaldo’s former clubs to have been included by the bookmakers, Real Madrid are 10/1 odds to seal the return of their all-time record scorer.
Ronaldo signed for the Spanish giants in a world-record £80m deal and spent nine seasons of huge success at the Bernabeu, scoring a barely believable 450 goals in 438 appearances across all competitions.
That record-breaking haul led to four Ballon d’Or wins and four Champions League winners’ medals, though both club and player have been unable to replicate their European success since parting ways in 2018.
Real’s project is in need of a refresh with big-money signings such as Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic having failed to pay off, the club’s hierarchy likely to be tempted by the prospect of Ronaldo returning should he become available this summer.
Manchester United – 5/1
Could Ronaldo return to the Premier League this summer?
Manchester United are priced as 5/1 favourites to sign the Portugal captain from Juventus, more than a decade after he departed the club in a world-record deal for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford as a teenager and developed from promising youngster into arguably the world’s finest footballer across six seasons, winning three titles, the Champions League and the first of his Ballon d’Or accolades.
United have been linked with forward additions this summer despite the news of Edinson Cavani’s contract extension, with Ronaldo a player who would instantly improve their options even given his advancing years.
Ronaldo’s record this season proves there is plenty left in the tank and he could be the short-term solution as the Red Devils bid to close the gap to Manchester City.