Ronaldo Uncertainty Continues

Ronaldo vs Chelsea 2006. Source: Ray Booysen, Flickr

The saga of Cristiano Ronaldo has continued to rumble on, the latest ‘development’ being that the forward has confirmed on Facebook that any currently circulating news regarding his signing of an extension to his current contract is untrue. “All the news about my renewal with Real Madrid are false,” he said via the social networking site.

Many media outlets have taken this as a sign that Manchester United are once more in the running to secure the Portuguese star’s signature for the second time. Apparently the money is there (if not in United’s coffers then certainly in Nike’s, who would be undoubtedly happy to see one of the world’s most marketable players in their shirt), the history is is there and of course, the need is certainly there too.

But Manchester United is only one destination, and not necessarily the most clear cut. In the Premier League, once José Mourinho was confirmed as returning to Chelsea, that particular route out of Madrid was surely cut off, but the large coffers of Manchester City would surely be thrown wide open though extremely unlikely considering Ronaldo’s continued professed love for United, and the adoration which the United faithful certainly still have for him. Across the Channel, AS Monaco are also reportedly in the market for Ronaldo’s services. The Ligue 1 club, who are now funded by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, are also monitoring the situation, alongside the rest of Europe’s top clubs, and are said to be ready to offer the forward a salary of €20 million a year (tax free). The club has already spent over £110 million this summer on Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho, all represented by Ronaldo’s ‘super agent’ Jorge Mendes, while fellow Ligue 1 side PSG are another project with vast swathes of money which might tempt the forward. Such interest from a lot of rich and/or successful clubs might be quite tempting, then again, Ronaldo has also said of his contract situation with Real: “I am well, calm and not worried about it. I know we will reach a deal.”

It’s difficult to truly know what’s going on. Various conflicting reports and rumours have been circulating for a while now – the player has reportedly put his house up for sale, his supposed unhappiness at Real Madrid has been public knowledge for a long time now, while Madrid’s interest in Gareth Bale is supposedly in the form of a long term replacement for Ronaldo. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is adamant that Ronaldo will remain with the club, telling Marca recently: “I am going to be as clear as possible. My aim, Cristiano’s aim and the aim of all Real Madrid fans is that he caries on playing here for many years to come. And when so many people want the same thing it usually turns out to be the case. I myself and Real Madrid both want that. The player, Cristiano Ronaldo, wants that…without a shadow of a doubt.” Who knows whether the player is actually considering a move, or if his agent has been cleverly laying the groundwork for an astoundingly lucrative contract from owners who don’t want him to leave, and certainly not for nothing. Only time will tell. Whatever happens, you can be certain Ronaldo – and his agent – will be the ones who benefit the most.

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