Cristiano Ronaldo has been turned down by two Serie A sides who would have been able to satisfy his Champions League desire, it has been revealed.
Ronaldo’s future has been an unwelcome distraction at Manchester United over the summer. Opinion is split over how his second spell with the club has gone. On one hand, he was the club’s top scorer last season. But on the other, his arrival may have affected team dynamic.
After finishing sixth in the Premier League, Manchester United cannot offer Ronaldo involvement in the Champions League this season. Due to his desire to keep playing in UEFA’s top club competition, the forward has been looking for a way out of Old Trafford.
However, it has been hard for Ronaldo to find a new club. His high wages, plus the fact he is 37 years old, are putting suitors off despite his status as a five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Links with the likes of Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea have quickly come and gone. Hence, Ronaldo has started the season as a Man Utd player still. And at this rate, he could reach the end of the summer transfer window as one.
Now, fresh information has emerged about two clubs who have declined the chance to sign Ronaldo.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, his agent Jorge Mendes offered him to AC Milan and Inter earlier this summer. The two rivals came first and second respectively in Serie A last season. Therefore, each will be in the Champions League group stage.
They would also be able to give Ronaldo a platform back in Italy, where he used to play for Juventus. He scored 101 goals in 134 goals between 2018 and 2021 for the Old Lady.
Milan rivals favour other ex-Man Utd attackers
However, Mendes’ attempts to place Ronaldo at San Siro, for either club, were unsuccessful. The report from Corriere Dello Sport has explained why.
The over-arching issue for both clubs was his salary. Since he gave up Italian citizenship when leaving Juventus, he would not benefit from the country’s Growth Decree for foreign athletes.
Therefore, either Milan or Inter would have had to invest a gross sum of €45million per season into his wages. Quite simply, they could not afford to do so.
Instead, Inter took ex-Man Utd attacker Romelu Lukaku back from Chelsea, while Milan signed Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge and gave Zlatan Ibrahimovic – another former Red Devil – a contract extension.
Seemingly unlikely move still suggested for Cristiano Ronaldo
So, where does that leave Cristiano Ronaldo? According to Corriere Dello Sport, one of the only solutions now would be to return to his first club, Sporting CP.
The Lisbon-based outfit can offer him Champions League football, although a move would only work if United can help them with the payment of his salary.
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Still, the idea of a Sporting return seems unimaginable in some ways still. It would presumably have to be a loan deal, whereby Man Utd would have to renew Ronaldo’s contract first.
And even if it would be a homecoming, is Ronaldo really ready to step outside one of Europe’s top five leagues? The Portuguese top flight is the next best thing, but still not necessarily the level one would imagine the ex-Real Madrid legend playing at.
Still, his options are narrowing, so he will have to make a commitment one way or the other soon. If he ends up staying in Manchester, he will have some bridges to repair.