There are suddenly strong suggestions that Cristiano Ronaldo is considering a move away from Real Madrid this summer.
The 32-year-old signed a contract extension last season and helped the team to a historic second straight Champions League title, as well as a La Liga triumph, but he is said to be enraged by the tax fraud case that the Spanish authorities have recently opened against him.
While there’s usually a rumour every summer linking Ronaldo with a transfer away from Madrid, perhaps this time there’s a little more substance.
Here are five places he could end up if he does shock the world by leaving Los Blancos.
This would be the dream move for many Manchester United fans and even a few neutrals.
It seems every summer, at some point, Ronaldo is linked with a return to Old Trafford.
He left United in 2009 but is still a beloved figure at the club, with the fans’ song for Ronaldo still a regular part of their repertoire. Imagine the excitement if he actually does go back.
The French giants are the likeliest club to be able to match Ronaldo’s wages, and it would be a statement signing after a season in which PSG seemingly regressed.
PSG clearly missed Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s force of personality last season, but Ronaldo may be the one man whose self-confidence tops that of the Swede.
He’d be a perfect fit and the Parisian’s owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi is a known admirer having tried to sign him last year.
Monaco’s status as a tax haven means the principality club could also offer Ronaldo a hefty wage package, although perhaps not the astronomical wages he’s on at Madrid.
The move may be seen as a step down from Real Madrid, but Monaco are the French champions and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season. Adding Ronaldo would be a statement of intent and may in fact help establish the club as a European power.
The path from Europe to America has become a well-trodden one, and it has long been rumoured that the MLS would be Ronaldo’s likely destination if he were to leave Real Madrid.
Ronaldo’s status as a Portugal legend means he probably wouldn’t have to worry about being dropped from the national team, a factor that many players have to consider when moving to America.
The romantic choice. Where better than the club where it all began?
Ronaldo has previously mentioned that he could potentially consider a return to the club which handed him his professional debut, and it would certainly make for a great story.
But while his signing would make Sporting Lisbon runaway favourites for domestic success, would it be enough to become more competitive in Europe, and give Ronaldo the stage he deserves?