Cristiano Ronaldo 'Wants to Leave' Real Madrid, Is 'Looking to Find a Club'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2017

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo controls the ball during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on October 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo is still hoping to leave Real Madrid and is searching for a new club, according to journalist Duncan Castles. 

Appearing on The Transfer Window podcast (h/t Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star), he was asked about the possibility of Chelsea's Eden Hazard moving to Los Blancos, and said:

"You've got to take into account the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave. That situation hasn't changed. He's looking to find a club that will take him.

"And if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves then one, Real Madrid have a lot of extra money to spend and two, they have a hole in the squad that someone like Eden Hazard or Kevin De Bruyne could fill."

Per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan, Ronaldo was linked with a move away from Real in the summer after being charged with tax fraud and expressed a desire to return to England, but he recently shut down talk of him wanting to leave: "You did not hear that from my mouth. People talk about Cristiano every day, all over the world."

Spanish journalist Manu Sainz (h/t Corrigan) believes Ronaldo is actually hoping for an improved deal at the club rather than a transfer:

In theory, if the forward were to leave Real, he could have his pick of teams in world football given what he's achieved at the capital club, per Squawka Football:

However, in reality it would seem much more likely that he'll stay put as his options are quite limited.

The Chinese Super League does not appear to be a viable option, particularly because of the 100 per cent tax now imposed on foreign signings, which would double the cost of his transfer fee.

What's more, Ronaldo isn't likely to consider playing at that level when he can still lay claim to being one of the best players in the world, not to mention the awards and the adulation that come with that.

In Europe, perhaps the only clubs that could afford him are Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City, but they don't seem overly likely either.

PSG would risk upsetting their new superstar Neymar by bringing in one of the two players on the planet, having only just stepped out from Lionel Messi's shadow, while City and even former club United aren't going to pay the enormous sums required to bring in a player who will be 33 in February.

If Ronaldo's wanted to leave Real, he'd not only have to convince the club to release him at a reasonable price, he'd also likely have to accept a pay cut even to join another top club.