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Cristiano Ronaldo

Where next for Cristiano Ronaldo? Chelsea, Newcastle, Sporting CP & the other clubs that could sign the former Man Utd star

15:00 GMT 23/11/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 2022
With his exit from Old Trafford confirmed, GOAL takes a look at which clubs may be interested in signing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner

"There was no other choice," as Wayne Rooney elegantly put it recently. As soon as Cristiano Ronaldo took the decision to reveal all in an 'interview' with professional wind-up merchant Piers Morgan, it was evident that his second spell at Old Trafford was destined to come to a messy end.

Football stops for no one though, and within minutes of his exit being confirmed the rumour mill had already begun churning out possible landing spots for the only free agent playing at the World Cup.

But where will he land? Will he stay in the Premier League? Is there a Champions League club willing to give him a chance? Or will he leave Europe for the first time in his career?

If you're struggling to keep track of all of Ronaldo's options, GOAL has you covered...

  • ronaldo mbappe messi

    PSG

    Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, together at last?! If this one comes off, there's a good chance it good break the internet. However, you shouldn't get your hopes up just yet.

    Not only are PSG ridiculously stacked up front already, it's hard to imagine de-facto sporting director Kylian Mbappe signing off on Ronaldo's arrival. He'd likely butt heads with Messi and Neymar too.

    We know PSG love star power, but this might just be overkill.

  • Jose Mourinho Roma Betis Europa League

    Roma

    Few managers have got more out of Ronaldo than Jose Mourinho, and the Roma boss would likely jump at the chance of a reunion - especially considering Tammy Abraham's recent struggles in front of goal.

    Unfortunately for the Special One, club director Tiago Pinto seemed to quash these rumours before they even had time to pick up traction in November.

    "One of the things that irritates me about Italy is that they are constantly talking about the transfer market," he told the Thinking Football Summit.

    "The truth is that Cristiano Ronaldo was never a possibility. These rumours had no foundation. But in Italy they talk every day about three different players linked with your club. I understand it was natural to link us because Mourinho and I are both Portuguese, and so is Cristiano. But as I said, there was never any substance in it."

    Perhaps he'll change his mind now there's no transfer fee to pay...

  • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23

    Arsenal

    Arsenal finally resemble a functioning football club this season, but that has not stopped onlookers touting Ronaldo for a move to the Emirates Stadium.

    It is very, very, very difficult to envisage this happening, though. Mikel Arteta has very publically iced out well-paid veterans like Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang recently, and Ronaldo simply does not fit Edu's recruitment profile.

    It's a bit of a ridiculous notion to be honest.

  • Osimhen celebrate Napoli Udinese Serie A

    Napoli

    Napoli have been the surprise package in Europe this season, romping to an eight-point lead in Serie A without losing a game.

    Gli Azzurri aren't the best of friends with Juventus - one of the forward's former clubs - so his arrival would likely rub some supporters up the wrong way. Additionally, Luciano Spalletti's success this season has been a result of a collective effort.

    Would bringing in a 37-year-old Ronaldo upset the balance? Most probably, yes. There's also a question of whether Napoli could even afford him in the first place.

  • Miguel Almirón, Eddie Howe - Newcastle United 2022

    Newcastle United

    Newcastle have spurned signing megastars since their Saudi-backed takeover, learning from the struggles Manchester City had in the years following their own change of ownership.

    This approach has been mightily effective so far, with Eddie Howe transforming the Magpies from relegation fodder to genuine top-four contenders within a few months.

    The club's ownership could be tempted to break with recent tradition now Ronaldo is on the market, though. With Alexander Isak's fitness still in question, a short-term deal until the end of the season could make sense.

    However, Howe may not be in favour. "We have quite an ageing squad, so we need to invest in more young players. That’s a big part of our progression - we need to get the average age down," he said recently.

  • Al Nassr fans

    Al-Nassr

    Now Saudi Arabia are a footballing powerhouse following their shock victory over World Cup favourites Argentina, Ronaldo could be tempted to rub shoulders with the likes of Odion Ighalo, Moussa Marega and Ever Banega in the Saudi Pro League.

    Money would not be a stumbling block in the move and the league would likely make the transfer as smooth as possible to boost their profile.

    What would be an issue is Ronaldo's likely desire to remain playing at the top level for as long as possible. By moving to Saudi Arabia, he would be waving goodbye to the chance to pad his Champions League scoring record, for example.

  • Phil Neville Inter Miami

    MLS

    MLS is less of a retirement home for ageing stars that it used to be, but that could change with Ronaldo back on the market.

    Phil Neville might fancy a reunion at Inter Miami, and LAFC may have space for him if Gareth Bale decides to focus on his golf career after the World Cup. His options don't stop there either.

    Plenty of MLS sides have Designated Player spots available this off-season and, like in Saudi Arabia, league administrators would likely smooth things along to get more eyeballs on U.S. football.

  • Jamal Musiala Thomas Muller Bayern Munich 2022-23

    Bayern Munich

    Ronaldo could add another stamp to his passport by making a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

    Tactically, it could be a struggle for him to fit into Julian Nagelsmann's high-pressing system, but Die Roten are currently a little light on numbers up front - and should Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting stop playing like Pele after the World Cup, they could be in a spot of bother.

    There's no need to think beyond a six-month deal, but Ronaldo could add value down the stretch as Bayern compete on multiple fronts.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo Sporting

    Sporting C.P.

    This is the most romantic option available to Ronaldo. A return to where it all began would be a fitting way to see out his career and Sporting could do with some extra firepower in the second half of the season.

    They currently sit fourth in the Primeira Liga and have been outscored by all the teams above them, while there's also the matter of a Europa League clash with FC Midtjylland to deal with in February.

    Sporting boss Ruben Amorim hasn't been shouting down the transfer talk when asked either.

    "Everyone at Sporting likes him, there's not much to say. He himself says he wants to do things in peace when it comes to his future. He will decide his future. Here there is the club, there's the structure," he said most recently.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo Graham Potter Todd Boehly GFX

    Chelsea

    The transfer that could tear Chelsea apart...

    New Blues owner Todd Boehly is understood to have pushed to sign Ronaldo last summer, only to be met with staunch resistance from Thomas Tuchel - who was sacked a few weeks later.

    Reports have suggested that Graham Potter is similarly unenthused by the prospect of working with the veteran, but Boehly has tended to surround himself with stars at his other sports franchise, the LA Dodgers.

    It's a tough one to call. But as Chelsea have been briefing that they intend to stick with Potter long term - we've heard that one before! - perhaps the manager will get his way this time.