Now that Manchester United have terminated the contract of Ronaldo, the question is where will the Portuguese superstar end up next?
A corollary to that question: what clubs can afford him?
Newcastle United have emerged as a possible suitor. According to Italian newspaper Gazetta Dello Sport and Spanish newspaper Marca, the club are interesting in signing the now free agent. With the club's new Saudi Arabian owners, they claimed that they would then allow Ronaldo to sign for a Saudi Arabian club like Al Nassr later on with an offer of €300m.
However, journalist Ben Jacobs stated that the club are not considering Ronaldo. He quoted a comment that manager Eddie Howe said in October after he was asked about signing the Portugeuse.
We're trying to provide long-term growth. At the moment, we have quite an aging squad. We need to get the average age down. So, it might not be a signing we'd necessarily look to make.
Ben also stated that Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes approached the club along with many others. However, the club's wage structure would be unfit for Ronaldo wages even if he had a pay cut.
Newcastle are not considering Ronaldo. Eddie Howe already said, “We’re trying to provide long-term growth. At the moment, we have quite an ageing squad... we need to get the average age down, so it might not be a signing we'd necessarily look to make."
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 22, 2022
Need Players With Good Mentality
Jacob's claims are backed up by Newcastle United player Bruno Guimarães stance on the recruitment at the club since the takeover. As reported by the Manchester Evening News, the Brazilian thinks the team need players with good mentality.
The way I agreed to come to the club was also something remarkable. Today anyone wants to come to Newcastle, the richest team in the world, but I arrived with the team doing bad, pointed out as virtually relegated. Trippier and I were the first to believe in the project, so fans have a special affection.
We need players with that mentality, it's not about signing everyone just because they have money. It's not bringing Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Mbappé. It's not like this.
The links to the club come after Ronaldo is now a free agent. Manchester United terminated his contract this week by mutual agreement after the Balon D'or winner criticised the club in an interview with Piers Morgan.
Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect.
The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 22, 2022
It is unclear which club would want to sign the 37-year-old due to his age and wage demands. Even Burnley manager Vincent Kompany joked that he would not want him at his club in the BBC studios.
It is believed that Ronaldo would prefer a club in the Champions League with many links to participating clubs in the summer. New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is believed to be a huge admirer of former 5-time Champions League winner.
Last World Cup?
Ronaldo is set to play for Portugal in what is likely his last World Cup. The team are going to play Ghana in their Group H opener on Thursday. Preparations for the competition have not gone smoothly with rumours of a fall out with former United teammate Bruno Fernandes having to be quashed. With Ronaldo being a free agent, he'll hope to win the World Cup on his last chance and put in a great audition for potential new clubs.