Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United is uncertain.
The Portuguese superstar re-joined the Red Devils from Juventus last summer but despite netting a brace on his second Old Trafford debut against Newcastle United, things have since gone south.
Following the club’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Ronaldo now faces the prospect of seeing out his contract at Old Trafford while playing in Europe’s second-tier competition.
Unlikely to appeal to the 37-year-old, who dominates the competition’s record books, this summer could see the five-time Ballon d’Or winner move clubs in order to be in with a chance of lifting the trophy for what would be the sixth time in his career.
Although United’s stance on selling their number seven is still unclear, domestic rivals Chelsea have emerged as contenders to offer the former Real Madrid star a route out of Old Trafford.
? EXCL: Todd Boehly met Jorge Mendes in Portugal last week. Idea of Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea among subjects discussed. Unclear if #CFC will pursue. Man Utd expect him to stay. 37yo loves #MUFC but has concerns. With @dansheldonsport for @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/pHXelZAIIb
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 25, 2022
Discussing why Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has been offering his star client to one of United’s direct domestic rivals, fellow agent Rob Segal believes the Blues’ location is key.
“At the age of 37, with his 500m followers on social media, London, for Cristiano Ronaldo, from a commercial point of view is a much more inviting place to be,” Segal said in an exclusive interview.
“Obviously, to be in London would be commercially more central for him. That must be where all this talk is coming from.”
Since returning to United, 12 years after departing, Ronaldo, who still has one year left on his United deal, has scored 24 in all competitions, and Segal feels it would be a shame for the 37-year-old’s second stint to end bitterly.
“I think if he does leave Old Trafford, instead of being a hero and leaving a hero, United fans might see him differently,” Segal added.
“That would be a shame because he is an unbelievable athlete. One of the very best to play the game.
“Let’s not forget either – he did agree to a contract. He knew the risks involved when he signed on the dotted line, no other clubs were prepared to commit like United.
“Don’t get me wrong, I know the Red Devils aren’t in next season’s Champions League and that will factor into his decision a bit too, but although Chelsea are going well in this summer’s transfer window, it isn’t like they’re going to run away with the Premier League next season, or be odds on favourites to go on a deep run in Europe. It would be such a shame, his legacy will be massively dented if he goes through with it.”