Cristiano Ronaldo has officially left Manchester United by mutual and since that news broke, as expected, the forward has been linked with basically every club imaginable.
Chelsea, Bayern Munich, every MLS club in the USA, have all been linked with the now free agent, but there’s only one team that can be considered the favourites to sign CR7: Sporting CP.
Ronaldo came through the youth ranks at the Lisbon club way back at the start of the century, playing 31 games for the first team and scoring five goals – all during the 2002/03 season. Now, 20 years later, his boyhood club are reportedly keen to re-sign the forward.
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90min reported at the end of August that the club were ‘exploring ways’ to make a deal to sign Ronaldo work, with the club consider offering Ronaldo a stake in the club, despite it not being prohibited by current regulations.
Here’s what the club itself have had to say about the potential signing in recent months:
Back in October, head coach Ruben Amorim seemingly ruled out a move for CR7, citing the club’s inability to pay the player’s wages as a fundamental stumbling block for any deal.
“Everybody in Sporting dreams of the return for Cristiano but we don’t have the money to pay his wages.”
Speaking to RTP3 in Portugal, club president Federico Varandas hails Ronaldo as the ‘best Portuguese player ever’, but refused to be fully drawn on questions regarding the club’s potential signing of Ronaldo.
“He will always be the reference of Sporting’s academy and the best Portuguese player ever.
“Now, I’m not going to make noise. If Ruben Amorim vetoed the return? Of course not. It was never even a topic or was on the table. There was never a conversation with me, with Hugo Viana or Amorim. This topic never existed. I know it sells a lot in the press.”
In July, the club’s sporting director Hugo Viana refused to rule out a future move for CR7, stating:
“He can decide where he can go. But you never know the future…so whatever he decides, let’s see.”