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Does any major club genuinely want Cristiano Ronaldo?

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After his contract with Manchester United was torn up by mutual consent, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is currently seeking new employers. While his focus right now may be dedicated towards helping his country, as they bid for a deep run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, his representatives are busy drumming up interest in their client and pushing for enquiries.

Despite receiving a heroes welcome when he returned to the Red Devils, the iconic footballer was never entirely happy following his Old Trafford homecoming. It all started out well, of course, but quickly turned sour, once Ronaldo discovered this club was lightyears away from challenging for top honours. After all, this is a player who has lifted every major trophy aside from the World Cup, and won countless personal accolades during his glittering career.

Participating in an explosive interview hosted by Piers Morgan was clearly the last straw for United, and their head coach Erik ten Hag, already tired of the petulance shown by an experienced player who should know better. Ronaldo does indeed know better and without any doubt, the manner of his departure from the club is precisely the result he wanted, after criticising everything and everyone involved with his previous employer.

Desire to play in the Champions League

Having already expressed a desire to leave Manchester United in the summer, destined to compete in the Europa League after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, Ronaldo was clearly hoping to receive plenty of interest. His objective was to play in the Champions League, only willing to consider offers from clubs in that competition, although none were forthcoming much to his dismay.

Apparently, there was tentative interest from English rivals Chelsea, following their takeover led by American tycoon Todd Boehly, who fancied the idea of Ronaldo arriving as his marquee signing. Indeed, this is believed to have contributed towards the departure of Thomas Tuchel, fired after just one game this term, while disagreements rumbled in the background. In the end, there was no formal approach from the London club.

Bavarian giants Bayern Munich were also linked, although they were quite swift in denying any such talk, insisting they had zero interest in the Portuguese superstar, even with Robert Lewandowski about to join Barcelona at the time. Meanwhile in Italy, rumours of interest from Inter Milan emerged, although they were never going to afford his gigantic salary, and that situation was the same at Roma, despite being coached by fellow countryman Jose Mourinho.

Perhaps the most romantic rumour was attached to Sporting CP, the club where Ronaldo had made his debut in professional football, before that first blockbuster move to Manchester United. But no matter how strong the desire, even if Ronaldo slashed his wage demands, no formal enquiries were made. The only confirmed bid came from Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, who could make him the world’s highest-paid player in January, keen to reopen talks.

Clubs linked with January interest

Whenever such a high profile player is available, particularly as a free agent, speculation and rumours inevitably go into overdrive. But are there any major clubs who are genuinely interested in Ronaldo? That is the pressing question for the player, as he looks for a new challenge at this late stage of his illustrious career. And such is the interest in where he goes next, even bookies are getting involved in the speculation.

But before attempting to predict where Ronaldo goes next, and backing any of the current odds available, checking in-depth SBO reviews for bet sites UK could be the best place to start. These will highlight the most competitive odds, range of markets available including those for transfers, plus any welcome bonuses and promotions available ahead of the January window. 

Crucially, club finances are likely to play a major part regarding any decisions. Money could be the deciding factor, particularly with reported interest from Saudi Arabian clubs. Spanish outlet Marca say Al-Nassr has already made an offer, which could seal Ronaldo a three-year deal worth $225 million, while previously linked Al-Hilal could match or even exceed that bid.

According to the latest odds, Chelsea are favourites and expected to make further enquiries, given the Todd Boehly interest last summer. Priced at similar odds with many bookies, Ronaldo’s first club Sporting is now seen as a realistic option, should he renounce a huge percentage of his wages for a return to Portugal. Just as interesting, Cristiano heading to ‘any’ club in the MLS is also being tipped.

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