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Cristiano Ronaldo Transfer from Manchester United to Atletico Madrid 'Impossible'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 26, 2022

PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo spent a good portion of his career starring for La Liga giants Real Madrid. And despite rumors that he might join one of that club's primary rivals, Atletico Madrid, as he reportedly seeks an exit from Manchester United this summer, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo put a halt to that conversation on Tuesday.

"I've said it many times. I don't know who invented the story about Cristiano. But I'll tell you, it's practically impossible for him to come to Atletico Madrid," he told reporters.

Cerezo told reporters last month that Atletico needed to clear around €40 million ($40.5 million) from departures in order to bring new players in this summer. The club has signed Axel Witsel on a free transfer, while right-back Nahuel Molina appears poised to be the next addition.

Ronaldo's name has popped up alongside a number of prominent European clubs thus far in the summer transfer window. Bayern Munich, despite losing superstar forward Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, didn't bite:

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Bayern director Kahn tells Bild: “We discussed about Cristiano Ronaldo internally - I consider him one of greatest footballers ever” 🚨 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FCBayern?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FCBayern</a><br><br>“Then we came to conclusion that, despite appreciation for Cristiano, he would not fit into our philosophy in the current situation”. <a href="https://t.co/JuBTUdUnsS">pic.twitter.com/JuBTUdUnsS</a>

ESPN's Julien Laurens reported on July 12 that PSG were given the chance to bring Ronaldo on board after his agent, Jorge Mendes, met with sporting director Luis Campos and club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. They turned down the opportunity.

Two days later, ESPN's James Olley reported that Chelsea—in need of a central forward—took themselves out of the running for Ronaldo as well.

And now Atletico Madrid are pulling out of contention.

Throughout the entire saga, Manchester United has maintained that it isn't interested in letting the 37-year-old forward leave.

"We are planning for Cristiano Ronaldo for the season and that's it," United manager Erik ten Hag told reporters earlier in July. "I'm looking forward to working with him. I have read [that he wants to leave], but what I say is Cristiano is not for sale, he is in our plans and we want success together."

Ronaldo hasn't lost his scoring touch. He found the back of the net 18 times and added three assists in Premier League action last season.

But Ronaldo's age, wages and his inability (or unwillingness) to operate as a defensive contributor in a high-pressing tactical system has perhaps soured him for high-profile teams around Europe. At this stage, Ronaldo is an expensive poacher, capable of scoring goals but offering less in other areas of the game.

So as the summer wears on, a return to Manchester United feels more and more likely.

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