Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly seeking a move out of Manchester United, just one year on from when he rejoined the club from Juventus last summer. It was a year which didn’t go to plan, as the return of a club icon which promised silverware and success only resulted in one of United’s worst recent seasons, and a sixth place finish that meant they failed to qualify for the 2022/23 Champions League season.
The lack of Champions League football, which remains Ronaldo’s priority, has remained the Portuguese star’s reason for wishing to leave the club in which he burst onto the landscape from 2003-2009. It was after this original spell at United that he joined Real Madrid, going on to win 4 Champions League trophies with Los Blancos, heralding their second generation of “Galacticos”.
As he searches for another club this summer, the prospect of Ronaldo rejoining the club from the Spanish capital has lurked in the back of all football fans’ minds, a homecoming of sorts. However, reliable Spanish football news agency Marca has revealed that a deal along these lines is considered completely off the table.
Madrid won a league and CL double last season, on the back of a career-best year from French forward Karik Benzema, who is now a frontrunner for the Balon d’Or. The club have found a balance which allows them the most success, and fears would remain that adding a personality as big as Ronaldo’s could cause trouble with that, as it has done at Juventus and United, the last two clubs Ronaldo signed for. Both clubs had enjoyed success before the man from Madeira’s arrival, but in an era were high-pressing and intensity is a must, Ronaldo stuck out as the odd one out, and arguably a net negative despite all his goals.
Marca reported that Madrid president Florentino Perez and Ronaldo have had meetings this summer, but they were unfruitful. Jose Felix Diaz, a reliable Real Madrid correspondent for the agency, wrote “As MARCA has learned, Real Madrid’s roadmap will not change in the slightest, and that does not include the return of the Manchester United player. The leaders of the white club are going to wait for events and after checking if the players they do not count on are sold, they would look at the market again, but that would not include Cristiano Ronaldo.”
This would make Real the latest in a list of clubs to disregard the signing of Ronaldo, having seen the downturns experienced by Juventus in 2018 and United last season. This includes Chelsea, PSG, and Bayern Munich as well. The clubs that can afford Ronaldo do not see the need to have him, while the clubs which might wish to sign him are unlikely to afford his wages or signing fees.
A different club Ronaldo has been linked with are Real’s cross-city rivals, Atletico. However, Ro also might very well be forced to see out his 2-year contract at United, with few other options. He hasn’t joined the team on their preseason tour in Australia, but might return when their season kicks off against Brighton on August 7.