Thursday, July 06, 2017

EVERY transfer window there are a couple of major rumours that dominate the headlines and this summer window will be no different. For the early part of the summer it was all about Antoine Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid to join Manchester United but that deal seemed to fall through because of Atletico’s transfer ban and he subsequently signed a new deal.

Cristiano Ronaldo pictured training with Portugal at the Confederations Cup. Which club’s jersey will he wear next season? Photo: Getty

I think it is a short-term alliance though because his buyout clause has supposedly been lowered. This time next year we will be talking about him moving once again.

All the big teams want to sign the best players available and Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have always been spoken about as potential world record transfer deals but nobody ever expected them to move from Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

That was until the past week when it was widely reported that Ronaldo has told Real Madrid he never wants to play in Spain again. It all seems to come down to a tax bill that Ronaldo has been hit with and he is being taken to court over tax fraud. We don’t know the ins and outs of this alleged tax fraud yet, but he is denying it. The reports are so strong I fully believe he does in fact want to leave.

I had always thought Ronaldo would finish his career with Real Madrid as he always wanted to play for them and they are challenging for trophies every season on all fronts. Now it looks ncreasingly unlikely that he will be at the Bernabeu by the start of the season as every club who has money or ambition will be trying to sign him.

Of course, Real Madrid don’t want to lose their star man but in this situation the player and his agent, Jorge Mendes, hold all the cards because of his high profile. He has won the team games and trophies on his own and his goal-scoring exploits are ridiculous.

So, the question that seems to be on everyone’s lips at the moment is, where will Ronaldo be playing come August?

The transfer fee is going to be huge so that rules out a lot of clubs straight away, and that is before we consider his personal preferences.

The Chinese league is now a big player in the transfer market but I don’t see Ronaldo going out there because teams in Europe will match what they are willing to pay him. Paris St Germain are the next logical option as they have money to burn and they are also starting to build a team that will challenge in European competitions in the next couple of years.

They also want to regain the French league title they lost last season to Monaco. The signing of Ronaldo would all but confirm that, in my opinion. They would be a very attractive option for him and his family and it would represent a new challenge for him too. If he was to go there and win the Champions League, all the plaudits would go to him and Ronaldo seems to love when it is all about him.

The team I think Ronaldo would be most interested in signing for is Manchester United. Is this wishful thinking for Manchester United fans or is there actually a chance of Ronaldo coming ‘home’ to the place where he really made his name?

They say you should never go back, but this could be a match made in heaven for both parties. Ronaldo has played for Jose Mourinho before and won trophies with him at Real so that looks a good fit. United have cash to spend and they also hold a little trick up their sleeve in the shape of David De Gea who Madrid want to sign as their number one keeper.

United could use him as part of the deal to drop the price down so that they will easily meet financial fair play rules.

I’d love to see him end up at United again and be back in the Premier League week in week out, but I think that he could end up playing the rest of his career in Paris.

The saga could rumble on for weeks, if not months, because Ronaldo still has four years left on his contract.

As I alluded to before, the player is so powerful in this situation. It will be very interesting to see where he will go.

Unless he makes fools out of us all and stays at Madrid!

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