SOCCER

Cristiano Ronaldo insists on leaving Manchester United and wants to move to Atlético Madrid

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Manchester United are not bluffing. The English club are not ready to let Cristiano Ronaldo go. Despite the fact that the Portuguese star’s wish is to leave Old Trafford, United directors and their manager, Ten Hag, are utterly reluctant to let him go. The best example is the refusal to negotiate a transfer with Chelsea. But the player is also entrenched in his position. The fight has begun and clubs across Europe are waiting in case there is the possibility of securing the winner of five Ballons d’Or. While economically it would be a huge stretch, Atlético Madrid until recently just another spectator has now had contact with the player circle.

In principle, Cristiano Ronaldo reached an agreement with Chelsea a few days ago. At the express request of the London club’s new owner, Todd Boehly, an agreement has been reached with agent Jorge Mendes for the Portuguese striker to play the next two seasons at Stamford Bridge, but Tuchel’s reluctance and United’s total rejection of the operation stopped the movement.

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Any transfer will be difficult, but rumors abound about the possibilities. Bayern are looking for a replacement for Lewandowskialthough Kahn, Chairman of the Sports Council, commented in Bild that he doubts ‘signing Cristiano is the right thing to do’.

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Cristiano Ronaldo met his partner Georgina Rodríguez in MadridOSCAR DEL POZOAFP

For Simeone, Cristiano Ronaldo is number 1

Atlético is one of the clubs Ronaldo has been linked to. This newspaper reported a few days ago that there had been informal contactssince the reality is that the Spanish right club would find it difficult to mount the operation, mainly due to economic constraints, beyond the impact on the fanbase of signing a former Real Madrid legend. Atleti must sell $40m players anyway and, to be able to sign Ronaldo, that number would have to be higher. And at the moment, the club is struggling to change players.

But the summer is long and the will can change the reality. At Atlético Madrid, even if everything seems calm at the moment, there could still be movements (Morata, Correa…). And Simeone likes Cristiano. In public, in private and internally at the club, he has always commented that he is a footballer who makes the difference, a “number 1”, a winner. The coach looks enviously at the Portuguese star, seeing a chance for a good deal like the one that brought Luis Suárez to 2020, but with even more impact, both sportingly and commercially: a world star always eager to prove himself, with a proven caliber and a winning character. Ronaldo scored 24 goals for United, the team’s top scorer last season. No one at Atleti has gone over 13. And the Portuguese is the footballer with the most followers on the planet, which would also strengthen the image of the club.

In the Champions League and with the stake in La Liga

And Ronaldo himself is looking favorably on the option of ending up at the Metropolitan. Atleti would mean playing in the Champions League (Manchester United qualified for the Europa League) and competing for titles. And he likes living in Madrid. Moreover, just like Cholo likes Ronaldo, Cristiano is excited about the prospect of being able to work with Simeone, a competitive individual who is dedicated to football like himself. The praise between them flowed back and forth.

The footballer is still in Portugal and has yet to travel to Manchester, while the team is on tour. The star said he had a family issue which prevented him from joining the team. A few days ago, Cristiano had a conversation with Ten Hag, in which the coach explained his plans to him and told him how important Ronaldo is to his ideas, but he couldn’t change the striker’s view. Time is running out and, as the days go by, rumors about the star’s future grow stronger. At present, the only sure thing is that he is still a United player, but it is not unreasonable to believe in a possible return of Cristiano in the Spanish League. United are not yet convinced but the player will continue to insist and Atleti, on the lookout, expect movement at Old Trafford. But it’s not the only club…

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