Cristiano Ronaldo has all-but shut the door on a return to the Premier League, admitting he would never join Manchester City because of his loyalty to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Spanish newspaper AS claims the Citizens tabled a staggering €200 million offer during the summer transfer window, with the Portuguese winger’s future the subject of much speculation in recent days.
Real Madrid rejected the bid, according to the same publication, but his recent ‘sad’ admission has done little to play down reports that all is not well at the Santiago Bernabeu.
That said, Los Blancos are said to be preparing a new mega-deal for the player, with a salary in the region of €20 million set to be placed on the table in January.
Talk of a new contract is nothing more than a smokescreen for Sheikh Mansour, who is said to ‘dream’ about seeing Ronaldo playing for City at the Etihad Stadium. He’ll be in opposition when the two sides meet in the Champions League on the 21st November.
Ronaldo’s commitment to the Red Devils is undoubtedly a problem for the mega-rich Premier League champions however, and money might not be enough to lure one of the world’s best players to the club.
A source close to the player has confirmed that CR7’s relationship with Ferguson remains as strong as ever, and the pair continue to talk over the phone.
"Cristiano has always been close to Alex Ferguson and even now they still talk. Cristiano simply would not risk hurting him by joining Ferguson’s immediate rivals,” the source told The Sun.
Ronaldo has also mentioned on numerous occasions that Ferguson was like a father figure, and moving to City would not be well received by the Scot.
Realistically, it is only Manchester City who could afford to bring Ronaldo back to England though.
Manchester United do not have the financial power to match their neighbours, and whilst Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has spent big this summer, he would not be willing to splash out €200 million on a single player. Not even Ronaldo.
That leaves limited options for agent Jorge Mendes to work with, and with Financial Fair Play only a few years away, teams are less likely to splash out huge numbers on an individual.
So what does it all mean for the future of Ronaldo? Not a lot, it would seem. His immediate future appears tied to Real Madrid, and his long-term future might be exactly the same.