Just minutes after Real Madrid had raised the trophy after winning the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo sparked transfer rumors with his post-match comments. Ronaldo spoke in the past tense about being with Real Madrid.
“Now it’s time to enjoy this,” Ronaldo explained to the Independent. “In the next few days I’ll give the fans, who have been by my side, an answer. It’s been great being at Real Madrid.”
Realizing he may have been taking away from his team, Ronaldo later apologized in the press conference.
“Maybe it wasn’t the perfect timing to talk about personal things,” Ronaldo explained to the Independent. “Maybe I’ve made a mistake or not. It takes away from a beautiful, historic moment for us that is winning three Champions Leagues in a row, obviously it is a special moment. A player’s personal things aren’t the most important thing now, it might have been taken out of context but maybe I shouldn’t have said what I said.”
Since his comments, Ronaldo has been linked to Manchester United, but the majority of reports at this stage are just rumors. Finance expert Kieran Maguire explained to the Daily Star that Manchester United could make the money work.
“They can afford him, certainly,” Ronaldo explained to the Daily Star. “I think the issue would be upsetting some of the other players in terms of wages, but it wasn’t a problem when Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] went there. His salary was in excess of £19m a year, and they are paying Sanchez more than that now. It’s whether players like Ronaldo would be attracted to play for a club that doesn’t play particularly attractive football. And there are issues with the weather in the North that doesn’t make it easier, even though it’s the best city in the world. Can they afford him? Yes. Will they be able to convince him? That’s more questionable.”
Citing Spanish outlet Don Balon, Manchester Evening News reported in April 2018 that Manchester United offered Ronaldo an opportunity to return. The report indicated Ronaldo is looking to get a raise from Real Madrid, or he could look to go elsewhere. Here are the details per Manchester Evening News.
The article suggests the 33-year-old wants to become one of the highest-earning players in world football and he has supposedly threatened to rejoin United if his request isn’t granted.
According to the report, Ronaldo has informed Real president Florentino Perez he has an offer to return to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window.
It is suggested Jose Mourinho would be willing to pay £64m for the five-times Ballon d’Or winner and the Reds are said to be willing to include either Paul Pogba or David de Gea in a deal.
If a transfer does happen, some are suggesting Real Madrid will go after Neymar. Former Real Madrid player and coach Jorge Valdano believes Neymar would be a good fit at Real Madrid.
“I must say that Neymar has what it takes to play for Real Madrid,” Valdano explained to L’Equipe (via ESPN). “For me, he’s the closest heir to Cristiano Ronaldo. It seems to me to be a legitimate aspiration to invest in a player of his talent who is going to reach his peak in the next five years.”
Ronaldo makes about $19 million per year on his current contract with Real Madrid.