When Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was asked about the possibilities of him signing Ronaldo once again, he made his feelings quite clear. “Sign Ronaldo?” The 75-year-old said. “Again? He’s 38-years-old.”
The new Premier League 2022–2023 season has begun, although there is still uncertainty regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future. The player apparently wanted to leave Manchester United, but his departure proved difficult due to the club’s desire to hang onto him and the dearth of suitable alternatives.
Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, is rumoured to have discussed signing the Portuguese with a number of elite European teams, including Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, etc. Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s former team, was also mentioned in connection with the player, but nothing tangible occurred.
Ronaldo is reportedly keen to leave Manchester United in the search for Champions League football. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner missed the pre-season tour of Asia and Australia, with the Red Devils giving him leave for family reasons.
Ronaldo netted 24 times in all competitions but United had a lacklustre campaign as they finished sixth in the Premier League, 35 points behind champion Manchester City.
United on Sunday started the season on a disappointing note as they slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion in their Premier League opener. Erik ten Hag left Ronaldo on the bench after he only returned to pre-season training last week. Midfielder Christian Eriksen was deployed as a ‘false nine’, with Ronaldo coming on in the 53rd minute.
“It’s clear to see we were better in the middle with Eriksen back and Ronaldo up front,” said the gaffer after the Portugal star came on eight minutes into the second half.
“If he was available, I would’ve played him. Cristiano is now 10 days in team training. That’s too short for 90 minutes. That’s the reason we didn’t start him.”
Ronaldo had joined Manchester United from Juventus last summer after rumours linking him with the club’s city rivals, Manchester City. After the Cityzens reportedly pulled the plug on the deal, Ronaldo ended up re-uniting with Manchester United, signing a 2-year deal.