Saturday, December 4 2021

Update: Cristiano Ronaldo is moving to Manchester United.

To say the summer transfer window in soccer has been unpredictable would be one of the greater understatements

Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona after 21 years was the biggest shocker as he went to Paris Saint-Germain when his boyhood club couldn’t register him for financial reasons. The transfer record in the English Premier League has been broken twice, first by Jack Grealish going to Manchester City and then Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku.

The futures of Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund and Kylian Mbappe of PSG – considered the next two big superstars of the sport – have been unsettled.

But with four days before the international window is due to close, another shocker has come in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus forward has told the club he wants a move with one year left on his contract. The club has confirmed he won’t play there this season.

So where could one of the sport’s greatest players land? Even at the age of 36, he still has significant value in the market after leading Serie A in scoring last season and then winning the golden boot at Euro 2020 this summer.

Here are four options:

Ronaldo celebrates a goal against France at the European Championships.Ronaldo celebrates a goal against France at the European Championships.

Ronaldo celebrates a goal against France at the European Championships.

Manchester United

A return to the club which launched him into stardom now appears to be most likely option with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer teasing the possibility at his press conference Friday. Ronaldo played at United for six seasons, leading them to three Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy before joining Real Madrid.

Eight seasons removed from winning its last Premier League, United would gain an injection of scoring and attitude needed to return the club to glory. Solskjaer has spoken often of his admiration for Ronaldo with the pair having played together for four seasons at United. After fan unrest with ownership last spring, a move to bring back of the club’s greatest stars would also engender some needed goodwill.

Manchester City

A shock move to the crosstown rival of his former Premier League club seemed close at hand Thursday with reports he had spoken to manager Pep Guardiola and agreed to personal terms with the club. All that was left was to agree on a transfer fee from Juventus.

However, even though Ronaldo would fill the defending league champion’s need for a striker, the chances of a deal seem to have dissolved quickly. Whether the interest was real or the reports were a ploy by Ronaldo’s team or City to spur interest from United is uncertain. The door could remain open should that option fall through.

Paris Saint-Germain

Ronaldo on the same team as Messi could be fantasy come true if the pieces fall in place. Real Madrid is hoping to lure Mbappe to the club one year before his contract expires. That would give PSG the cash and place in the lineup to bring in Ronaldo.

Never shy away from signing the biggest stars, Paris would have potential the three biggest in Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar as it tries to win its first Champions League.

Real Madrid

Coming back to the club where he won four Champions League titles prior to joining Juventus in the summer of 2018 would have obvious appeal. Madrid needs some scoring punch after going without a trophy last season. Carlo Ancelotti is back as manager, and he previous was there for three seasons during Ronaldo’s prime. Ancelotti downplayed the possibility of the move, though that was before Ronaldo made it clear he was leaving Juventus.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cristiano Ronaldo rumors: Manchester United return for Juventus star?

Source: Yahoo Sports

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