Cristiano Ronaldo has a knack for making headlines. He is either lauded for his exploits or slandered for his inability to be a difference-maker while playing.
Off the field, he becomes the rumor mill’s favorite subject, regularly getting linked to some of the top clubs in Europe.
The Portugal international left Juventus to rejoin Manchester United in the summer of 2021. He ended the 2021-22 campaign as their leading scorer with 24 goals across competitions.
However, the Red Devils couldn’t finish in the top four in the Premier League.
As a result, the Portuguese superstar is set to miss out on Champions League football for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
Unless, of course, he leaves United for greener pastures. Ronaldo also has just over 12 months left on his contract with Manchester United (June 2023), making him a lucrative prospect for potential buyers.
Over the last few weeks, quite a few top clubs have been linked with a move for the 37-year-old.
Below, we will check out the five biggest clubs that have either expressed interest in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner or been offered the services of the sharpshooter.
Now without further ado, let’s get to it.
5. Sporting Lisbon
Ronaldo’s boyhood club Sporting Lisbon have reportedly (via The Sun) gotten in touch with their alumnus over a possible return this summer.
Sporting believe that Manchester United are not strong enough to win trophies just yet and are keen to bring back their former star.
A source revealed that senior members have already gotten in touch with the five-time Champions League winner, who is supposedly unhappy with United’s lack of transfer activity. The source said:
“Sporting know that Ronaldo loves winning trophies. That looks a long way away at United at the moment and time is running out for Ronaldo. So what better way to finish his career than move back home and play in Portugal.
“It’s a strong league and a great lifestyle. Senior officials have made enquiries and let Ronaldo know they are interested if he wishes to leave United.”
Ronaldo played 31 games for Sporting (five goals and six assists) before joining the Old Trafford unit in 2003.
His mother Dolores also wishes to see his son return to Portugal before hanging up his boots.
4. AS Roma
Merely a year after leaving, Ronaldo could return to Italy to reunite with his countryman and former coach Jose Mourinho.
As per La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Be Soccer), Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes have given Mourinho’s Roma the opportunity to sign the Manchester United talisman.
He spent three seasons under Jose Mourinho between 2010 and 2013 during their time together at Real Madrid. He scored 168 goals in 164 appearances under his compatriot, winning one La Liga title and one Copa del Rey trophy.
The No. 7 is reportedly so interested in reuniting with Mourinho that he has even agreed to take a pay cut.
However, he will miss out on Champions League football if he joins the UEFA Europa Conference League champions this season.
3. Inter Milan
Ronaldo had a strong run with Juventus between 2018 and 2021, with him scoring 101 goals and providing 22 assists in 134 appearances across competitions.
Their arch-rivals Inter Milan have supposedly been offered the opportunity to get the forward on their books this summer.
As per La Repubblica (via Tribal Football), Ronaldo’s agent Mendes “invited” Inter Milan to prize the goalscorer away from Old Trafford.
However, due to his €20 million-a-year contract demands, the Nerazzurri have decided not to take Mendes up on his offer.
Instead, they are reportedly concentrating on wrapping up Romelu Lukaku’s transfer from Chelsea and continuing talks with Paulo Dybala.
Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly met with Ronaldo’s super-agent Mendes, a report from The Athletic has claimed.
Mendes, of course, has many clients alongside Ronaldo, but it is believed that the former Real Madrid man was a topic of discussion.
The two parties met in Portugal “last week.” As per the report, Chelsea are contemplating the idea of going after him, while Manchester United remain determined to keep hold of him this summer.
The player, of course, has immense love for the Red Devils, but supposedly has concerns over United’s lack of transfer activity. He wishes for them to be competitive at the “highest level,” something they have not yet achieved.
Additionally, Chelsea will be able to offer him Champions League football for next season.
Considering he is firmly on the wrong side of 30, it will be interesting to see if he risks angering Manchester United fans in exchange for playing in the Champions League.
1. Bayern Munich
As per Spanish outlet AS, Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have proposed a crafty plan to bring the Portuguese ace to Germany.
The Bavarians supposedly want to add him to their roster by sending Robert Lewandowski to Old Trafford in what is being hailed as the “mother of swap deals.”
Bayern Munich ace Robert Lewandowski has expressed his desire to leave the club ahead of the 2022-23 season. By sending him to United, Bayern would not only be able to fulfill his wishes but would also get a capable replacement in return.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side are formidable in the Bundesliga and are capable of going deep in the Champions League as well.
Ronaldo, who has scored over 800 goals in his professional career, could opt for the switch as it would give him a real shot at winning major silverware next season.