Three Premier League teams are said to have made offers to Cristiano Ronaldo, whose future with Manchester United is very much in doubt.
After declining to enter as a late substitute in United’s 2-0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, the 37-year-old might be on his way out in January. Making matters worse, Ronaldo sprinted down the tunnel and out the Old Trafford exit doors.
Ronaldo was benched for Saturday’s match against Chelsea by Erik ten Hag, who was quite upset with the Portuguese superstar’s behaviour. The forward was also fined two weeks’ worth of salary. Just a few months after the former Real Madrid player expressed his desire to leave in July, Gary Neville has since called for Ronaldo, who has only scored twice this season, to leave Manchester United.
The Sun quotes close friends of the Portuguese international as saying that Chelsea, Newcastle, and Arsenal have all been contacted by his advisors. The Blues were considering a move for Ronaldo in the summer, but Thomas Tuchel was not interested. Sporting Lisbon, PSG, and Bayern Munich were also mentioned as potential suitors.
The Premier League trio reportedly view Ronaldo as “extremely dangerous,” and it appears unlikely that he will sign with any of United’s domestic rivals. In the same transfer window, Alexander Isak moved to Newcastle, Gabriel Jesus joined Arsenal, while Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was finalised by Chelsea.
Ronaldo may decide to relocate abroad as a result, and Napoli is now allegedly the favourite to sign him. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who played for Juventus for three seasons in Serie A and amassed over 50 goals during that time, would be open to joining the Italian team.
However, considering Ronaldo’s financial expectations and Napoli’s complex pay structure, the agreement could be challenging. Piotr Zielinski, a Polish international and Napoli’s highest earner, takes home just £90,000 a week, which is nearly five times less than Ronaldo’s salary at United.
Following his return to the Red Devils last summer, the former Juventus player was earning £480,000 weekly. Ronaldo’s pay was reduced by 25% as a result of their failure to make the Champions League this season, and he is now earning a “mere” £360,000. He continues to earn the most for United, followed by David de Gea and Jadon Sancho.
In exchange for moving to Naples, where he would also play in the Champions League, Ronaldo is willing to accept a pay cut. Napoli has already advanced to the tournament’s knockout rounds after earning 12 of a possible 12 points. With nine victories from their first 11 games, they are also atop the Serie A standings.