Where to Next? Top 3 Clubs for Cristiano Ronaldo Should He Push for Manchester United Exit

© REUTERS / PHIL NOBLEManchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during the warm up before the match
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during the warm up before the match - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.11.2021
With Manchester United languishing in sixth place in the Premier League and struggling in the Champions League, rumors are swirling that famed Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo could push for a summer exit if their season does not turn around.
Iconic footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has built his legacy on scoring goals and winning trophies. While he continues to find the back of the net, with nine goals in the last 12 matches, it looks increasingly unlikely that United will challenge for a major trophy.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Ronaldo said, “I see huge potential in this team. They have very young players, players with potential, and I'm here to win and to help the team to build new stuff."
Ronaldo returned to Manchester United this summer after spending nine seasons with Real Madrid and three seasons at Juventus. He reportedly took a wage cut to come back to Manchester, but said, “I'm not here for holidays.”
If Ronaldo doesn’t believe that United can be one of the best clubs in the world he may look for a move to a club that can chase the trophies he covets. Ronaldo doesn’t play for free, however, so any potential suitor needs to have deep pockets. These are the three most likely landing places if Ronaldo looks to leave Old Trafford for a second time.

Paris Saint-Germaine

It looks very likely that France's Paris Saint-Germaine will lose star player Kylian Mbappe this upcoming summer on a free transfer. No one can replace Mbappe, as his combination of speed, technique, passing and goal-scoring is unmatched in the sport.
While Ronaldo cannot replace Mbappe, he could soften the blow of the loss to the team.
PSG have near-limitless financial resources, and with Mbappe’s contract coming off their books, they’ll be able to entice Ronaldo with the type of compensation he has become accustomed to.
PSG are always challenging for trophies and have desperately pursued Champions League glory. Ronaldo may sense a lack of true ambition at United, and he could very well find its opposite in Paris. As an added bonus, the dream of pairing Ronaldo and Argentine player Lionel Messi - the two best players of their generation - on the same team could soon be realized.

Manchester City

Would Ronaldo really leave Manchester United to go to Manchester City? If reports are to be believed, he nearly made City his home over the summer before United swooped in at the last moment.
For United fans, it would be blasphemy for Ronaldo to move across the city, but for the man himself it may make perfect sense. City have been the dominant side in English football over the past five seasons, but the one thing they lack is a Champions League trophy.
On the pitch, City are a well-oiled machine from front to back but they lack an out-and-out goalscorer. If they once again fall short in the Champions League they could be in the market for a lethal finisher, and Ronaldo fits that bill.
Ultimately, City have the financial resources to bring in a player with Ronaldo’s wage demands. Outside of his connections to their crosstown rivals, Ronaldo to City makes sense, which is why it almost happened last summer.

Real Madrid

If Ronaldo is willing to return to Manchester United, why wouldn’t he be willing to return to Real Madrid? Ronaldo was previously great at United, but his years in Madrid were legendary.
Over nine seasons, he won four Champions Leagues, four Ballon d’Ors, three La Liga golden boots, and two La Liga titles. If it wasn’t for Messi and Barcelona, there’s no telling how much he could have won.
While Madrid haven’t been as dominant without Ronaldo, they haven’t strayed as far from past glories as United have. There is the other reality, too, that La Liga is nowhere near as tough as the Premier League for an older player.
The Premier League has the most high-intensity running of any of the major five European leagues. For a player who is closer to 40 than 30, the Premier League may not be the best place to spend the final years of your prime.
Madrid have an interesting combination of veterans and youngsters, too. With the club rumored to be the favorite to land Mbappe, and possibly Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland, there might not be space for Ronaldo. However, if they miss out on one of those wunderkinds, perhaps they could look to Ronaldo to bolster their attack.
Madrid, unlike Barcelona, doesn’t have crippling debt and have for the most part done solid business in the transfer market. They have the financial resources to bring in Ronaldo and could be motivated to bring him in just for the positive press. Remember, Real Madrid is as much a brand as it is a football club.
Nominees for the Best FIFA football player, Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi (R) and Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) chat before taking their seats for The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony, on October 23, 2017 in London. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.09.2021
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Ronaldo is rightfully concerned by the lack of ambition at Manchester United. He was meant to be the missing piece to bring the club back to prominence - instead, his return has only exposed what some consider to be the rot that has taken hold of the club.
If Ronaldo wants to move on to greener pitches, he’ll have plenty of suitors, but few real landing spots.
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