After his return to Old Trafford last summer, Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-coming at Manchester United did not exactly go according to plan.
Despite finishing as the club’s top scorer, a sixth-placed finish and no progress deep into the cup competitions concluded a miserable season for the Red Devils. Now, the 37-year-old star is reportedly unhappy with United’s lack of activity in the transfer market this summer, with new boss Erik ten Hag yet to bring anybody in.
With the Portuguese reportedly considering quitting the club, Sportsmail takes a look at Ronaldo’s options this summer should he look elsewhere and opt for a new challenge.
Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly considering quitting Manchester United this summer
Ronaldo is unhappy with United’s lack of transfer activity – Erik ten Hag is yet to make a signing
Having just signed Sadio Mane from Liverpool for £35.1m, the Bundesliga champions are reportedly considering signing another Premier League attacking star in Ronaldo.
Bayern are, according to Spanish outlet AS, looking into the possibility of signing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with one pretty significant catch – only if Robert Lewandowski departs.
The Pole has made his desire to leave Germany – with Barcelona the most likely destination – very apparent and the report details that Ronaldo is on their list of targets should their star striker leave as anticipated.
What’s the challenge for Ronaldo? Well, after winning titles in England, Spain and Italy, ticking Germany off the list and playing in a new league would undoubtedly attract the Portugal captain.
Playing alongside Mane too, Ronaldo would be another star in a star-studded team and despite their domestic dominance, the target of winning the Champions League after Bayern’s shock quarter-final exit to Villarreal last season.
Ronaldo has been a thorn in the side of Bayern Munich before but could he now join them?
Of course, currently, Ronaldo will not feature in Europe’s top club competition next season after United only managed Europa League qualification.
One return… followed by another?
Ronaldo’s desire to leave Juventus at the back end of last summer’s transfer window came as something of a shock. A move back to Turin would be a bigger surprise.
Ronaldo won two Serie A titles with Juventus in three years at the Old Lady from 2018-2021
Spanish paper Sport report that Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is trying to broker a return to the Old Lady, where Ronaldo spent three years after he left Real Madrid in 2018.
The motivation for the player himself would be clear: despite taking home two Serie A titles, Ronaldo could not guide Juve to that coveted Champions League trophy, following disappointing exits to Ajax, Lyon and Porto.
He’d also likely be joined by Paul Pogba, who is set to move to Juve after his contract at United expired in the summer.
Moving back to Italy would be a surprise move. But finishing what he started at Juve and striving for another European crown would be a clear challenge to see out Ronaldo’s illustrious career.
But he never guided them to European glory and he would love a chance to put that right
When you talk about fairytale moves, this is top of the pile.
Ronaldo’s journey began at Sporting Lisbon and it is not unfathomable that he could return to the Portuguese capital to see out his playing days
Ronaldo joined Sporting Lisbon at the age of 12, moving from the island of Madeira to the Portuguese capital as he started his journey to stardom.
By the age of 17, Ronaldo had made his debut in the first-team in 2002, and rumours swirled quickly of a move abroad.
He moved to United a year later, after impressing in a pre-season friendly against the Red Devils.
With Sporting winning the Portuguese title in 2021, a return to where it all began was mooted last summer amid Ronaldo’s unhappiness at Juve.
Though it never materialised, it is a possibility that Ronaldo could go back home this summer to see out his mesmerising playing days – and add to those 31 appearances and five goals from 20 years ago.
The most unlikely option, it has to be said. Ronaldo does not strike you as the player who would fancy an American swansong.
However, he wouldn’t be the first and he won’t be the last to see out his playing days in the US. From a marketing, off-the-pitch viewpoint, a few years in Hollywood, Miami or New York would be extremely attractive for Ronaldo.
The likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have all given it a go stateside, before returning to Europe to play again or manage.
Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Inter Miami and New York City FC would be potential suitors, should Ronaldo see his near future away from Europe.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of many high-profile players to have had a stint in the United States
Seeing out his career stateside looks like Ronaldo’s most unlikely option at this point
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