Another day and yet another story in the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga. After declaring his commitment to Real Madrid, fresh reports have emerged that Cristiano Ronaldo and his advisors spoke to the majority of Europe’s elite clubs about a potential transfer away from the Bernabeu.
It is reported that Ronaldo would cost a staggering $326 million (£200 million) to any club willing to employ the services of the current World Player of the Year. With Ronaldo’s strained relationship with Real president Florentino Pérez, there is now a growing sense within the game that Pérez will consider selling the 29-year-old next summer.
The current fee sought by Ronaldo and his advisors would be too expensive for many to consider the deal, with the current Financial Fair Play rulings. However, Manchester United could conceivably still afford to sign the Portuguese forward due to mega sponsorship deals from Chevrolet and (ironically) Adidas.
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently on $690,000 (£380,000) per week before tax and would command the same salary should he leave Real Madrid, who in turn will accept a minimum fee of $97 million (£60m) for their prized asset. With image-rights payments, loyalty bonuses paid out over the full length of his contract and other incentives, he could pocket a further $97 million (£60 million).
In 2009, Ronaldo left Manchester United for a massive $130 million (£80 million) to become the most expensive player in the world. Apart from the talent that Cristiano brings to the field, his global appeal would justify the remarkable figures touted for the 2-time World Player of the Year.
Relations between Pérez and Ronaldo, which became strained during the Ronaldo’s contract negotiations during 2013, remain tense following the forward’s public criticism last month of the decision to sell Di María to Manchester United and Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich.
While Manchester United are determined to return to the forefront of English football after a woeful season under David Moyes and a poor start with Louis Van Gaal at the helm. With Ronaldo set to become 30 in February, Real Madrid may well consider selling Ronaldo while they can still recoup much of the fee paid out to Manchester United five years ago.
Manchester United must now determine whether the exorbitant outlay it would need to bring their prodigal son back home is worth it or whether the potential deal is too risky, especially considering Ronaldo in his thirties would command little resale value.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo ever play for Manchester United again?