Where could Cristiano Ronaldo go next? Five potential destinations after Man United exit

Portuguese forward has left Manchester United after the club terminated his contract

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Cristiano Ronaldo is officially a free agent after the announcement on Tuesday that the Portuguese forward had left Manchester United "by mutual agreement, with immediate effect".

The termination of Ronaldo's contract occurred one week after his explosive television interview in which he accused the Premier League club of "betrayal" and said he "does not respect" manager Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo's immediate focus is on the Qatar 2022 World Cup - Portugal begin their tournament against Ghana on Thursday - but speculation has inevitably begun regarding the 37-year-old's club future.

We take a look at five potential destinations for where Ronaldo could be next playing his club football.

Chelsea

Chelsea had enquired about Ronaldo's availability in the summer when new owner Todd Boehly was in the midst of a record summer transfer spree. Former manager Thomas Tuchel was reportedly not keen on the idea then and, if the owners still hold some interest, then new coach Graham Potter will need to approve an approach.

Purely in football terms, it's a move that could make some short-term sense. Chelsea continue to struggle for goals - not an issue Ronaldo is too familiar with.

MLS

One of the first rumours to emerge following Ronaldo's United contract termination surrounds a potential move to the United States. The timing would work quite nicely considering the new MLS season starts in January but whether Ronaldo would be interested at this stage in taking the step down would likely be the biggest obstacle.

During his TV interview last week, Ronaldo said he expects to stay at the top of football for at least another couple of seasons, so a move to America might not fit into those plans. That said, a lucrative offer might just tempt his team to the negotiation table.

Sporting Lisbon

The romantic option would see Ronaldo returning to his boyhood club, almost two decades after leaving as an 18-year-old for Manchester United. This would undoubtedly be an emotional decision because while Sporting would likely be able to offer Ronaldo Champions League football, he would have to accept a significant pay cut.

Saudi Arabia

There was an audacious bid made from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club in the summer that were willing to offer Ronaldo a two-year contract worth €350 million. Could a new approach be in the works now Ronaldo has been forced to consider his options?

PSG

This, of course, is a left-field possibility but football Twitter allowed itself to get carried away after Ronaldo appeared alongside Lionel Messi in a new Louis Vuitton campaign. Looking at it logistically, PSG are one of very few clubs who can afford Ronaldo's wages, but from a football perspective it would be difficult to see where Ronaldo fits into the team, such is PSG's embarrassment of attacking riches.

Updated: November 23, 2022, 11:34 AM
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