Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is eager to bring Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo to the club this summer, Spanish outlet AS claim (today’s edition, page 6).
Ronaldo has asked to leave United during the ongoing transfer window as he aims to play Champions League football for the 20th straight season.
Chelsea and Bayern Munich have distanced themselves from a move, but there now appears fresh interest in the form of Simeone’s Atletico.
According to AS, Simeone is convinced about signing Ronaldo for Atletico, but the move would highly depend on player sales over coming weeks.
The Spanish outfit need to recoup at least €40 million first, and it is claimed that the likes of Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa could be sold.
Meanwhile, it is claimed that Ronaldo is ‘seduced’ by the opportunity of working with Simeone, who is ‘dedicated to football like him’.
Furthermore, AS cite that ‘the praise between them has flowed in both directions’. Ronaldo is clear that he ‘wants to leave Manchester United’.
Ronaldo’s stance should concern Man Utd
United were fancied to sign a new marquee striker at the beginning of the transfer window, but as things stand, they are not close to signing anyone to bolster the department.
Anthony Martial has been successful leading the line during pre-season, and we have also seen Marcus Rashford being trialled as a number nine in Ronaldo’s absence due to personal reasons.
Manager Erik ten Hag has said that the club have Ronaldo in their plans for next season, but their stance could change if the 37-year-old does not appear for training after the Australia tour.
Ronaldo seems keen on returning to the Spanish LaLiga to work with Simeone, but a move to Atletico could spoil his legacy with Real Madrid, having spent nine glorious years with them.
It won’t be a surprise if his choice triggers interest from Madrid. We saw how United acted last summer when agent Jorge Mendes tried to push through a potential deal with Manchester City for Ronaldo.
Carlo Ancelotti recently said that he does not expect any more signings, but he shares a superb relationship with Ronaldo, who was hugely disappointed when he was previously sacked by Madrid in 2015.
The Portuguese star hoped to work again with the legendary Italian tactician, and we could see a reunion of sorts. Whether that happens remains to be seen as Madrid are not desperate for a striker.
They did not compete with Manchester City for Erling Braut Haaland. The hierarchy and Ancelotti believe that they can depend on Karim Benzema to lead the line for another one or two seasons.
A huge outlay in transfer fees and wages for Ronaldo may not seem worthwhile. As the speculation over his future continues, United’s main aim will be to persuade Ronaldo to stay next season.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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