Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has reiterated his desire to leave Manchester United this summer in search of an opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League. His agent is in talks with former club Sporting.

The desire to play UEFA Champions League football is the key driver behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s intentions to quit Manchester United this summer. As per The Athletic, the latest meeting between Ronaldo, his representatives, and the club did little to persuade the superstar about changing his mind and seeing out his contract at Old Trafford – which expires next year but has the option to last another.

Several Champions League group stage-bound clubs have been linked with Ronaldo recently, but his avenues have closed one after the other as the weeks roll on. Chelsea were the first to withdraw their name from the hat after being linked with the Portugal international, with Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid following suit soon after. Bayern executive Oliver Kahn and Atletico president Enrique Cerezo even went as far as publicly claiming that a transfer for the 37-year-old was out of the question this summer.

However, according to the report, there might be a route away from Manchester United for Ronaldo this summer. His agent Jorge Mendes is in talks with his boyhood club Sporting Clube de Portugal over a surprising return; the Liga NOS outfit, having qualified for the Champions League, making itself a viable option for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Nonetheless, talks are still at an early stage. Complexities in the proposed transfer include arranging for the finances to cover Ronaldo’s mammoth wage, while Sporting manager Ruben Amorin, too, is skeptical about bringing the forward back to his old playing ground, given his special status.

Ronaldo currently leads the list of all-time Champions League scorers with 140 goals but is being followed closely by arch-nemesis Lionel Messi, who, only 15 behind and two years younger, will be playing Champions League football this season. The desire to cement his legacy in the competition is reportedly one of the stronger factors behind the Portugal captain’s stance at present.

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