Atletico Madrid hold an interest in Cristiano Ronaldo, but they will need to raise €40million in player sales before making a move for the Manchester United man, according to reports.
Ronaldo spent nine years with Atletico’s city rivals, Real Madrid, before joining Juventus for around £105m in 2018.
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The Portuguese superstar is Real’s all-time scorer after netting a whopping 450 goals on his way to winning four Champions Leagues.
His affiliation with Los Blancos has called into question his desire to play for their arch-rivals.
Last summer, Ronaldo found himself in a similar situation before re-joining Manchester United.
Manchester City were reportedly interested in signing the experienced striker, however, calls from top United figures such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand led Ronaldo to make his Old Trafford comeback.
It is believed that Ferdinand told his former teammate that he would tarnish his Red Devils legacy if he made the move to their Manchester rivals.
Whether City were actually looking to bring the player to the Etihad remains to be seen. They have since signed Erling Haaland, meaning there is no chance this transfer will materialise in the future.
Having asked United to sell him this summer, Ronaldo appears to be short of options.
Unfortunately, Paris Saint-Germain were quickly ruled out, meaning we might never see Ronaldo and Lionel Messi play on the same team.
Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Napoli have been linked with a move, though all three sides appear to be out of the running.
Atletico have emerged as a real option, with any side not playing in the Champions League next season seemingly ruled out.
Ronaldo received an offer from Saudi Arabia but he is believed to hold no interest in a move, despite the £2m-a-week wages reportedly on offer.
A move for the 37-year-old will be ‘very difficult’ for Atletico, as per The Athletic.
This is due to their financial situation. They will need to raise at least €40m if they are to sanction a move in the summer transfer window.
Alvaro Morata and Saul Niguez have returned to the club following loans elsewhere, and they are believed to be surplus to requirements. Both players contribute around €20m to the club’s wage bill.
On top of Atletico’s financial issues, Ronaldo’s Real Madrid legacy could hold him back. Stranger things have happened, and if they are the only Champions League side in for him, the Portugal captain could make the controversial move.
Only a handful of clubs can afford Ronaldo’s wages, yet the vast majority of them have no interest whatsoever in pursuing a move.
It looks increasingly likely that he will remain at United and was due to hold talks with new manager Erik ten Hag today.