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Ronaldo reportedly willing to take pay cut, clubs still don’t want him

Number 7 has had a tough time finding a new club...

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images

It’s been well reported since late June that Cristiano Ronaldo has his agent Jorge Mendes looking across Europe’s top leagues in search of a club to take on the Champions League record goalscorer and give him a path out of Manchester.

The Portuguese superstar returned to Manchester United at the end of Summer 2021 in similar fashion to his efforts this year. He was desperate to leave Juventus, and was on the verge of joining Manchester City before Sir Alex Ferguson and the Glazers swooped in to sell him on the idea of a return. In terms of marketing it worked brilliantly for player and club. Ronaldo got a homecoming tour and a distraction from his ongoing civil case over a rape allegation, and the Glazers got to pander to the fans by bringing back a fan favorite legend of the past to sell number 7 shirts.

Unfortunately it worked out quite poorly for the team. Despite reshaping the attack around Ronaldo problems in midfield persisted, and were exploited. The dressing room divided over Ronaldo, from whom it appears multiple leaks about unhappiness with teammates and the manager may have stemmed from, and the club went through three different managers before limping to a sixth place finish.

Now Ronaldo wants out, despite his indication that he would work with new manager Erik ten Hag, and has not returned to training this summer. He claims there has been a “family matter” keeping him in Portugal, meanwhile his agent has searched across Europe’s top clubs hoping to find a buyer. He’s done so to no avail.

Top clubs don’t want Ronaldo. If they did then they would have brought him in last Summer rather than him pleading with the Manchester clubs at the transfer deadline. He was a major disruption to team chemistry and structure at both Juventus and United, and even at a 30% wage cut his earning would do a number on a team’s wage structure. If he takes an even bigger cut he might work his way into a strong Champions League side. Until then he’ll either have to settle for working with United another season or sit out altogether.

And if he does come back at this point, Erik ten Hag will have to back up his talk about discipline.