Cristiano Ronaldo terminated his contract at Manchester United by mutual consent following his infamous interview with Piers Morgan and is currently unemployed.
While Gary Neville hopes to see him stay in the Premier League, where Chelsea have recently been credited with an interest in his services, it doesn’t feel right.
The 37-year-old is using Real Madrid’s training facilities to maintain his fitness after suffering a heartbreaking World Cup exit with Portugal earlier this month.
He remains hopeful of attracting interest from Champions League clubs before committing himself, yet a megabucks proposal from Al-Nassr stole the headlines during his ill-fated World Cup adventure.
Ronaldo has a grotesque £173 million-a-year offer on the table, with Al-Nassr reportedly aiming to promote him into the face of football in Saudi Arabia.
However, the highest goalscorer in men’s international is still undecided over the prospect of moving to the Middle East, leaving his next landing spot open to interpretation.
Here’s the list of four potential destinations.
As the only club to have made a formal offer, Saudi heavyweights Al-Nassr lead the charge to capture Ronaldo’s services this winter.
He has previously had lucrative bids from Saudi Arabia, with Al-Hilal reportedly tempting him with a mammoth two-year deal worth a monstrous £233.4m last summer.
While the veteran forward found the idea unattractive at the time, a lack of genuine European suitors could make him change his mind in anticipation of a January move.
It’s understood that if he accepts Al-Nassr’s proposal, Ronaldo may even face a backlash in Portugal, considering the terms of the deal would force him to front Saudi’s bid to stage the World Cup in 2030.
Since Portugal and Spain are also bidding to co-host the tournament, he would become increasingly unpopular in his homeland if his influence tips the scales in Saudi Arabia’s favour.
Swapping Champions League football for the less exciting Europa League may not be at the top of Ronaldo’s wishlist, yet Roma could be an outside candidate to acquire his services.
With Jose Mourinho at the helm, the Giallorossi may have an ace up their sleeves, at least based on the Special One’s long-term relationship with his countryman.
The two enjoyed a memorable time in Madrid and are now sharing similar frustrations about how Man Utd treated them, bolstering the prospect of a reunion at the Stadio Olimpico.
Ronaldo introduced himself to a broad audience at the Estadio Jose Alvalade two decades ago as Sporting helped cultivate his early talent before selling him to Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003.
His connection with the reigning Primeira Liga holders remains strong, as witnessed by the club’s recent decision to rename the training facilities after him.
On top of that, Ronaldo’s mother, Dolores Aveiro, has never hidden her ambition to lure her son back to Lisbon for one last roll of the dice with Sporting.
Heavily linked with a romantic reunion with his boyhood club he left aged 18, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner may return to his home country after all.
Major League Soccer
David Beckham was the first big-name European footballer to take up the option of seeing out his illustrious playing career across the Atlantic Ocean.
After him, the likes of Thierry Henry, David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, among others, followed the same path.
Most recently, Gareth Bale curtailed his European misery by joining Carlos Vela and Giorgio Chiellini at Los Angeles FC, who he helped win the MLS Cup title in his first year at the club.
Given Ronaldo’s household status in world football, he has already drawn plenty of commercial interest in MLS, with LAFC and Beckham’s Inter Miami emerging as potential suitors.
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