Cristiano Ronaldo will not leave Real Madrid for a fellow European heavyweight, according to Michel Salgado.
Ronaldo was linked with moves to former club Manchester United and Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the transfer window after reports claimed he wanted to leave Spain due to his unhappiness over scrutiny of his tax affairs.
But the Portugal international appears increasingly likely to stay at Santiago Bernabeu and Salgado, a two-time Champions League winner with Madrid, cannot see him playing for any other top club on the continent.
"I don't see Ronaldo with another shirt, at least in top football," Salgado said at the Star Sixes tournament, where he is representing Spain.
"Maybe he will retire in Real Madrid and or maybe he is then going to try another league like the US or something like that.
"But in top football, in Europe, I don't think Ronaldo is going to change club. I think he is comfortable in Real Madrid.
"Right now he is our soul, he is the guy that we all look to when we are playing the big games, and to be honest I think he is going to stay.
"Ronaldo is going to play for Real Madrid for sure. I don't see him wearing other colours."
Lovely moments pic.twitter.com/PBBmASNGL1— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) July 10, 2017
That is also an opinion Jose Mourinho agrees with having described a move for the forward as "mission impossible" on United's pre-season tour of the United States.
After Ronaldo helped Madrid to a Liga and Champions League double in 2016-17, Salgado feels it is tough for the 32-year-old, hot favourite to win a fifth Ballon d'Or crown, to get any better.
"Well it is going to be difficult, because although he finished the season in amazing form and he is getting a little bit older every year," he added.
"But I know him, he is a professional, he is going to be ready to be the important guy that he is, in the important games. He is going to learn to do that.
"I think that is the thing that he learnt in the last year, he was ready to be Cristiano Ronaldo when we needed, in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals.
"So I think he is saving the energy through the season. He is doing really well under the manager and is physically very good. Maybe he cannot [increase his level] further but obviously he is going to be really important for Real Madrid."