Cristiano Ronaldo: Surprise suitor named, with striker to potentially join ex-Arsenal trio and two former Man Utd stars at UCL contender

Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo could yet see his Champions League ambitions realised this season, and a French football expert has detailed a Ligue 1 club he could join that’s not named PSG.

The 37-year-old’s future at Old Trafford was plunged into even greater doubt on Monday night. Ronaldo wants to continue playing Champions League football – something Manchester United cannot satisfy in the current campaign.

Doubts have been voiced from all corners as to Ronaldo’s suitability in an Erik ten Hag system. The Dutchman wants his eleven on the front foot and pressuring their opponents, something they did marvellously well against Liverpool.

Indeed, the Red Devils turned the tables on the Reds and forced Jurgen Klopp’s men into hurried pass after hurried pass and mistake after mistake.

If the writing wasn’t on the wall for Ronaldo before the 2-1 victory, it certainly is now.

However, the obvious question of precisely who could sign Ronaldo has as yet gone unanswered.

Escape routes to Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Sporting Lisbon all quickly closed. Even if any of those clubs did believe Ronaldo was a good fit, his colossal salary makes financing a move difficult.

One club who can afford such lofty sums is PSG, though they already have Lionel Messi on the books.

Surprise French escape route emerges?

However, according to French football expert, Jonathan Johnson, a move to a different French club may yet be viable.

Johnson told Sky Sports News of the bubbling interest from Marseille who through finishing second in Ligue 1 last season, can satisfy Ronaldo’s UCL desire.

What’s more, they may soon see a pair of high profile attackers depart. They’ve also shown a willingness to sign big name veterans after landing former Man Utd attacker, Alexis Sanchez.

If Ronaldo did move to Marseille, he would be among familiar faces with Eric Bailly also poised to call Marseille home very shortly.

The French club also have a trio of ex-Arsenal stars in their ranks other than Sanchez – Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac and Nuno Tavares on loan.

Ronaldo to Marseille a “huge coup”, though “very difficult”

“Cristiano Ronaldo to Marseille is a story that has cropped up over the last few days,” said Johnson.

“It’s become something of a social media campaign to try to get Ronaldo to the Stade Velodrome. It would be a huge coup if they could pull it off but a very difficult move.

“You look at this Marseille side and there are some moves in the offing with Arkadiusz Milik edging closer to a move to Juventus.

“There have been some issues concerning the manager Igor Tudor and the playmaker Dimitri Payet and his fitness since the beginning of pre-season.

“When you’ve got people like Djibril Cissé adding their voice to the calls to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to Marseille, it does make for an interesting last few days in France.

“Given Ronaldo’s desire to play Champions League football and move before the end of the window, who knows? They already have Alexis Sanchez there so perhaps stranger things have happened in the transfer market.”

Regarding Marseille exits, Fabrizio Romano reported Milik is closing in on a loan-to-buy move to Juventus. The transfer guru also claimed midfielder Kevin Strootman is poised to join Genoa.

In that respect at least, Marseille do appear to be clearing the table for something substantial.