Ronaldo won’t be returning to Sporting Lisbon if Ruben Amorim has anything to do with it
Cristiano Ronaldo’s options for a move away from Manchester United continue to narrow amid reports that the manager of his boyhood club Sporting Lisbon has taken a hardline stance to prevent his team from exploring a move for the Portuguese icon.
It was reported in the Sunday Times that Sporting boss Ruben Amorim has told the club hierarchy that he would consider resigning from the team should they attempt to sign Ronaldo – a move, the newspaper says, would enflame tensions between he and the club’s paymasters after just days after he expressed his disappointment at the sale of star midfielder Matheus Nunes to Premier League team Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Times adds that Ronaldo found the position taken by Amorim to be “laughable”.
Placing the soon-to-be 38-year-old Ronaldo at a club with Champions League ambitions – a factor which is said to be central his desires – has proved to be a tough task for the superstar’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
Bayern Munich and Chelsea were initially identified as prospective suitors but both refused to progress any deal for Ronaldo – the latter reportedly due to former Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick persuading his friend and compatriot Thomas Tuchel that Ronaldo is a disruptive influence in the dressing room.
Similarly, a transfer to Atletico Madrid fell apart for myriad reasons, not least of which was a major fan demonstration by supporters in which they noted their objection to the potential signing.
Serie A team Napoli may present an option, as well as the type of attractive tax situation to which Ronaldo would presumably be interested, though it is also though that Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is concerned about generating the necessary cash to fund Ronaldo’s mammoth wage demands.
The only offer that publicly remains on the table for Ronaldo is the €300 million (£254 million) contract to play two seasons in Saudi Arabia’s Pro League – a destination which would obviously supersede Ronaldo’s Champions League ambitions.
But with just days remaining until the transfer window closes, Ronaldo’s marriage of inconvenience at Old Trafford is beginning to look like it may well extend for another season until his deal runs out next summer.
And much like a warring couple staying together for the benefit of the kids, it will almost certainly lead to more and more animosity between both parties.
Except in this case, the kids – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga et al – seem to be in a far better position without the influence, or baggage, of the sport’s most dependable goalscorer in history.
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