Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a surprise move to Atletico Madrid. The Portuguese forward is a Real Madrid legend, but the Spanish website AS has reported he could now be in line for a move to their neighbouring rivals.
"Whilst economically it would be a huge stretch, Atlético Madrid until recently just another bystander have now had contact with the player’s circle.The reality is that the Spanish club right would struggle to put together the operation, mainly due to economic constraints, over and above the impact in the fan base of signing a former Real Madrid legend.Atleti needs to sell off 40 million dollars in players in any case and, to be able to sign Ronaldo that number would need to be higher. And right now the club are having difficulty shifting players."
Is Ronaldo’s desperation to play Champions League football key to his transfer situation?
Ronaldo is desperate to play Champions League football once again and Atleti can offer that. He scored 308 goals in just 291 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid and also would have the chance to add to this unbelievable tally.
Diego Simeone’s side is also one that can get to the latter stages of European football’s premier competition. They got to the quarter-finals last season where they narrowly lost out 1-0 to Manchester City on aggregate after two legs.
Being a former Los Blancos player could be a big stumbling block. Ronaldo would not want to ruin his legacy with the Real Madrid fans, and moving to their local rivals would certainly do that.
The player’s move to back Manchester United instead of to Manchester City last season has not worked out. Maybe choosing with his heart to head back to Old Trafford instead of thinking more about his career has scarred Ronaldo.
This may lead him to not worry about the reaction a move to Atleti would have on the Real Madrid fans who loved him so much during his time at the club. Just imagine him scoring the winner in the Madrid Derby next season whilst clad in the red and white stripes of Simeone’s side.
The coach of Atleti is an admirer of the Manchester United wantaway, and AS added that:
"Simeone loves Cristiano. In public, in private and internally at the club, he has always commented that he is a footballer who makes a difference, a “number 1″, a winner.The coach looks longingly at the Portuguese star, seeing a chance for a neat deal like the one that brought Luis Suárez in 2020, but with even greater impact, both sportingly and commercially.(Via: as.com)"
Atleti needs a striker to replace Suarez who has now left the club after his deal expired. Simeone is someone who is passionate and loves a bit of carnage. Just remember how he got David Beckham sent off in the 1998 World Cup in France.
The Argentine coach would want nothing more than to sign Ronaldo to get one over on their Madrid neighbours.
If you look at his options at the moment they are quite limited. He could stay at Manchester United and help Eric ten Hag rebuild the club but have to stay in the Europa League next season and worry that Lionel Messi will catch his Champions League record.
Or if Atleti is a genuine possibility and considering it on a sole career level this would make sense as he can play at the highest level of European football. However, the reaction of the fans is something Ronaldo should definitely take into account when choosing his next destination.