Which clubs can afford to pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s salary?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United have agreed to part ways following his mutinous interview with Piers Morgan.

The Portugal superstar quickly fell out of favour with new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag, with Ronaldo revealing in his sit-down with Morgan he believes they do not respect each other.

United have not publicly disclosed whether or not Ronaldo has received any severance package, but it’s worth noting that he was on extraordinary wages at Old Trafford.

Upon returning to Old Trafford in August 2021, it was reported that Ronaldo was earning roughly £500,000-a-week, which made him the Premier League’s highest paid player.

However, after United missed out on qualification for the 2022/23 Champions League, it was widely believed that this would result in a 25% pay-cut for all members of the first-team squad. If this were true, it would have taken Ronaldo’s wage to £375,000-a-week.

Even if his performances haven’t warranted it recently, Ronaldo is still likely to demand close to the salary he was on at United.

That rules out a lot of clubs who may hold an interest. The likes of Napoli and former side Sporting CP, who were linked with moves for Ronaldo back in the summer, may have some temptation to sign him on a free transfer, but it would completely shatter their respective wage structures.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are the only Premier League clubs capable of paying Ronaldo what he would demand, though only the Blues would be likely to open talks with him.

Newcastle United might have enough wiggle room to sign Ronaldo, but their approach following PIF’s takeover hasn’t been to spend huge sums all at once, particularly while they try and adhere to Financial Fair Play rules.

Across Europe, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid would be able to hand Ronaldo that kind of wage packet, though again any interest would be surprising at this stage.

Bayern Munich have consistently distanced themselves from Ronaldo and wouldn’t be able to stretch their wage bracket that far regardless, while Barcelona need to sell-to-buy in January to help with their financial woes.

Ronaldo’s best hopes of earning such high wages again will be either in the Middle East – he recently confirmed he turned down a €350m offer from Saudi Arabia last summer – or with a MLS side.


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