Ronaldo Reportedly Asks To Leave Manchester United

Topline

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo told his English Premier League club Manchester United he wants a transfer, several outlets reported Saturday, which would end his second tenure with the club after just one season.

Cristiano Ronaldo warms up before a Manchester United match in May.

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Key Facts

The 37-year-old Ronaldo asked Manchester United to agree to a transfer should they receive a reasonable offer, the Times first reported.

However, The Athletic reports Manchester United doesn’t plan to give Ronaldo up, and sources told ESPN Monday he’s not available for transfer.

This would be a breakup between two of the biggest brands in soccer: Manchester United is the third-most valuable soccer club in the world and most valuable Premier League franchise, worth $4.6 billion by Forbes’ calculations, while Ronaldo is the third-highest earning athlete in the world with $115 million in earnings last year, per Forbes, trailing only Lionel Messi among soccer players.

Key Background

Ronaldo’s reported request marks the latest step in an unhappy reconciliation with the club he spent much of his earlier career with before rejoining last August. Manchester United placed sixth in the Premier League last season, failing to qualify for the Champions League. The club’s disappointing season is what drove Ronaldo to seek a transfer, the Athletic reports. A five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo is considered one of the greatest players of all-time. Ronaldo has built an immense following off the field, and his 462 million Instagram followers are the most in the world. In 2020, Ronaldo became the first soccer player to surpass $1 billion in career earnings, according to Forbes.

What To Watch For

Where Ronaldo ends up if he leaves Manchester United. Chelsea FC’s new principal owner, American billionaire Todd Boehly, met with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes to discuss a potential transfer for the superstar, the Athletic reported last week.

Further Reading

Cristiano Ronaldo tells Manchester United he wants to leave if right bid comes in (the Athletic)

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