Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo’s future has been a subject of speculation for the entirety of the ongoing summer transfer window. The Portuguese, who arrived at Old Trafford last year and has a contract until June 2023, is said to be unhappy with a lack of Champions League football.
Despite new Manchester united manager Erik Ten Hag claiming the 37-year-old is in his plans and not for sale, Ronaldo has reportedly submitted a transfer request. And according to ESPN, the talisman has rejected a bumper offer to move to Saudi Arabia.
An unnamed Saudi Arabian club has reportedly offered United €30 million for Ronaldo’s services, and have offered to pay the striker a whopping €275 million in wages over a two-year period. The 37-year-old, whose priority is still Champions League football, has reportedly turned down the offer.
The move would comfortably make Ronaldo the highest-paid football player in the world, and arguably the highest-paid sportsperson on the planet.
Ronaldo has been granted permission by the Manchester-based club to not join the rest of his teammates during the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to family and personal reasons. This has added more fuel to the transfer rumours, as his agent, Jorge Mendes, is reported to be meeting with club executives all over Europe to get him a move away from Old Trafford.
English rivals Chelsea’s new ownership has reportedly been holding talks with Mendes over a possible move, but after the big signing of forward Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, their attention has now turned to make signings in defensive areas.
Thomas Tuchel has decided against Cristiano Ronaldo signing, as things stand. Jorge Mendes had talks with Todd Boehly but final decision has always been up to the manager. 🔵 #CFC
Chelsea are now focused on different deals – Tuchel isn’t keen on signing Cristiano. pic.twitter.com/Fa19FcPhNX
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 14, 2022
Bayern Munich, who could be on the verge of losing Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, have also shut down rumours about a possible move and so have French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Although there are rumours floating about Atletico Madrid’s interest, given their inflated wage bill and Ronaldo’s history with their neighbours Real, a transfer there looks unlikely.
Ronaldo’s homecoming season last year saw him score 18 goals in 30 Premier League appearances, but a disjointed defence and lack of progression, and no rhythm going forward saw United finish sixth and exit the Champions League in the Round of 16 against Atletico.
The Portuguese’s inability to press has been seen as a big issue to fit him into a modern system, and despite being in fine goalscoring form, he has faced criticism for some of his performances last season. With a move now looking unlikely, Ronaldo may have to adapt to Ten Hag’s system and continue in Manchester for another year.