Cristiano Ronaldo is in the "power" seat to force through his Real Madrid exit next summer if president Florentino Perez fails to match the lofty ambitions of the Ballon d'Or winner, according to Spanish football expert Graham Hunter.
Ronaldo has cut an exasperated figure in recent weeks, with Madrid's poor start to La Liga compounding frustration over the exits of key figures from last season in Angel di Maria and Xabi Alonso.
The transfer window being closed has not halted widespread speculation that Manchester United and reportedly even Chelsea would love to sign the Portuguese superstar if available next summer, with Hunter telling talkSPORT that he thinks the conditions are right to do just that.
Mendes and Perez are far from friends
Hunter claimed Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes has already begun to openly court the idea of moving on his prized client if things don't change over the course of the campaign, because his relationship with Perez has become fractured to say the very least.
He said: "He was upset that [Angel] Di Maria was sold. They are in the same type of chaos they were 12 months ago, irrespective of how Carlo Ancelotti put it right.
"I think it is understandable that he is looking around with his agent and I would stress the relationship between Perez and Jorge Mendes, Cristiano Ronaldo's agent, is not the best at the moment.
"There is a culmination of circumstances which means they are beginning to look around. It doesn't mean automatically next summer he will join Manchester United. But he is in the power seat, he is a number one footballer and he is right to be saying, 'do Real Madrid share my ambitions' and I would say, right now, the president doesn't."
Ronaldo's conflict with Perez and Madrid powerbrokers has given Red Devils fresh hope they'll get to see forward back at the Theatre of Dreams, but it remains to be seen whether the grounds are truly in place for that blockbuster deal to go through.
For starters United have already spent a whopping £150m in the last three months alone, sooner or later those pecky Financial Fair Play guidelines set out by Uefa will surely bring a halt to their lavish spending on some small scale at least.
The 29-year-old was also equally unhappy when Perez decided to offload Mesut Ozil this time last year, but that didn't stop Madrid going on to win the Champions League and enjoy a hugely successful season under Ancelotti.
Ronaldo is also on a blockbuster £290,000-a-week contract at Madrid, so if Madrid can get over a truly shocking start in La Liga then what promises to be a season full of speculation over his future could still amount to nothing.