StoryRonaldo’s destination for 2017/18 campaign still uncertain

There’s no denying that Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid future has been uncertain throughout the close season. Reports last month claimed the 32-year-old Portuguese ace was ready to quit the Bernabeu, citing a lack of support from his club for tax evasion allegations lodged against him by Spanish authorities.

It was alleged that Ronaldo owes £13m in tax from image rights income, but he has continued to refute these claims both privately and publicly. This saga has led to a number of top European clubs being linked with Ronaldo’s signature. A return to his former employers, Manchester United, has been mooted, along with a switch to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

During Ronaldo’s recent holiday in Ibiza, it’s reported that the Real forward met with PSG owner, Nasser Al-Khelaifi privately to discuss the prospect of a move to the French capital. PSG are certainly not short of cash but it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo would look upon a switch to Ligue 1 as a backwards step from La Liga – despite the French champions being regulars in the Champions League and priced at 16/1 to win Europe's elite competition in the latest football betting odds.

The one trump card PSG do have under their sleeves is that Al-Khelaifi enjoys a very close bond with Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes which could sway matters in such a complex, high-profile deal.

Nevertheless, the romantic football fan amongst us would be delighted to see Ronaldo return to Old Trafford, where he was the darling of the Red Devils faithful throughout his younger years.

Whether United boss Jose Mourinho would be prepared to sacrifice the entirety of his transfer kitty – given Ronaldo’s eye-watering £875m release clause – on his compatriot remains to be seen. So where else does that leave Cristiano, bar another season with the Galacticos? Not even Ronaldo would be daring enough to make the move east to Madrid’s bitter rivals, Barcelona!

Further still, it’s clear that Ronaldo doesn’t wish to entertain the riches of the Chinese Super League, after the three-time Ballon D’Or winner was reportedly tempted with a staggering £86m per year deal from an unnamed CSL club.

So how about a rather left-field shout and a move to Benfica? It would result in a move back to Cristiano’s homeland at a really good time in his life after recently becoming a proud father to twin sons. It would be a rather controversial move given Ronaldo’s Sporting Lisbon upbringing, but Benfica would be the most ambitious move for him if he was considering a return to Portugal, given their regularity in the Champion’s League.

However, despite Cristiano’s frustration about his financial affairs, his former team-mates predict he will remain at the Bernabeu in the end. Former full back, Alvaro Arbeloa is very confident he will announce his continuation in Real colours for 2017/18. Cristiano is no stranger to throwing his toys out of the pram during his time with the Galacticos and as the club’s marquee player, he will be wanting more backing on and off the pitch from the club’s hierarchy should he decide to stay.