Cristiano Ronaldo transfer speculation is rife again, even though the transfer window only closed at the start of September and Real Madrid will not release the world’s No. 1 footballer until next summer at the earliest.
As befits a player of his caliber, Ronaldo is being most closely linked with two mega-rich clubs; his former team Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ronaldo is on fire at the moment, scoring at will after a quiet start and, although any side buying him would probably have to pay over $100 million, chances are he is unlikely to return to his beloved Old Trafford.
As much as Louis van Gaal would love to recapture him, Ronaldo’s ambitions lie much closer to Madrid than the dour Dutchman cares to admit. Ronaldo has already spurned two overtures from United.
Any future transfer will be the last big one for the 30-year-old Portuguese and returning to Manchester could only be viable if it was City making the offer. They have more potential of conquering Europe in the near future than their less noisy neighbors.
United may have a big place in Ronaldo’s heart, having spent six of his formative years there, until 2009, under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, but as big a club as it is, there is not enough appeal nor motivation to lure him back.
Van Gaal’s prickly nature is not endearing him to players and staff alike and even though they are top of the Premier League, they have yet to achieve a consistency to match the huge outlay he has made on expensive signings.
Ronaldo had such a warm relationship with Ferguson, there is only a remote chance he could replicate that with the Dutchman. Even then it would take time, a commodity not in abundance in the higher echelons of world football.
Madrid were Champions League winners in 2014 and regularly reach the latter stages of the competition every campaign, as well as scooping up domestic titles season after season – despite their rivalry with Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and the recent emergence of Atletico Madrid.
Money is still a motivating factor for multimillionaire Ronaldo but he has a true champion’s persona and wants to continue winning trophies and setting personal records until the boots are hung up for good.
Ronaldo has now not scored for three matches, remaining two goals short of matching Raul’s historic record of 323 strikes in a Madrid shirt.
But he is still hugely marketable and it is only a matter of time before that record is broken. United cannot offer Ronaldo Ferguson-like glory in the foreseeable future.
Unbeaten PSG have started Ligue 1 impressively, but they are not formidable on the European circuit. With Ronaldo on board, that might tip the balance. Teaming up with the likes of Thiago Silva, Angel Di Maria, David Luiz and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make a difference.
Another minor point, but a salient one all the same, is that Manchester’s weather is one of the wettest and gloomiest of all the top clubs. After six years in the balmy Madrid climate, Ronaldo does not relish returning to those dismal conditions. At least Paris has proper seasons – and it is not too far from Madrid and Portugal. So if he is going to move, a return to Manchester is the least likely destination.