Since making the famous “sad” comment in September, rumors have swirled about the fate of Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid.
With the possibility of manager Jose Mourinho leaving for the Premier League this summer, a high-profile exodus from Santiago Bernabeu could be in the midst, and Ronaldo may have helped kick-start the movement.
A new superstar and a new manager could certainly be on the to-do list for the Spanish titans’ summer plans, as the prospect has steadily grown that both Portuguese figures are interested in leaving for England. It seems that each day that goes by, the more inevitable it appears that Mourinho and Ronaldo will leave Spain.
Real Madrid have not won a Champions League title since 2002, and never seem bothered to spend on new players and new managers. A new manager and a new collection of stars may not be such a bad thing for a club that failed to even reach the Champions League final with Mourinho and Ronaldo.
While Mourinho’s transition to a new club may seem rather simple, Ronaldo’s transfer is rather complicated due to the massive fee he is expected to command.
The number of clubs Ronaldo can go to is very limited. The choices basically come down to two: Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain.
A return to Old Trafford appears to be what the 28-year-old wants. In a recent Champions League game between Real Madrid and Manchester United, Ronaldo did not celebrate when he scored against his former team, and has spoken fondly of manager Sir Alex Ferguson, with the feeling apparently mutual. Ronaldo left Sporting for Manchester United in 2003, and stayed with the club until 2009, when he joined Los Blancos on a £80 million transfer.
In order for United to bring Ronaldo back, the club may need to send at least one player to Madrid and perhaps sell another highly valued player somewhere else. Ronaldo is expected to command a transfer fee of over £100 million, which is a shocking amount for any player, let alone for one who will turn 30 in 21 months.
According to The Sun, Real Madrid would want cash, as well as forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for Ronaldo. Such a deal is feasible if United have the funds.
Sponsors will need to play a key role in Ronaldo’s return to Manchester. Nike would love to have Ronaldo back in England, while Chevrolet, another top sponsor, may also help finance a deal for Ronaldo.
Then there is the issue of paying Ronaldo. United are already paying Wayne Rooney £250,000 a week, and would have to pay Ronaldo at least a similar wage.
United will also have to deal with the deep pockets of Paris Saint-Germain. The mega-rich club reportedly is intent to offer a bid of over £130 million, and can offer Ronaldo a salary of £500,000 a week.
PSG is hoping that money talks, and that United will not be able to match the offer they are willing to pay Madrid for a player who will boost both attendance and jersey sales.
The problem for PSG is that Ronaldo would not feel challenged playing in Ligue 1, which does not play at the same level as the Premier League, La Liga, or the Bundesliga.
Joining PSG would also not significantly strengthen Ronaldo’s chances of winning a Champions League title. The French club has never made a Champions League final, and lost in the quarterfinals in 2012-2013.
There is an interesting scenario that might entice Ronaldo to join PSG. According to the Daily Mirror, PSG want to lure Mourinho to manage the club. Perhaps the prospect of a huge salary and playing for his demanding manager is enough to sway Ronaldo to Paris.