Cristiano Ronaldo: The favourites to sign Manchester United star if he leaves this summer

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United has not gone as planned and after a disappointing first season back at Old Trafford he is looking to move on.

The Portuguese is desperate to win the Champions League again before he calls time on his glittering career but despite individual success in front of goal last term he won’t be able to do that with United - this season at least - after they only managed Europa League qualification.

For a player so closely tied to Europe’s premier competition - he has won it five times and is the all-time top scorer - a return is seen as imperative, especially at Ronaldo’s age. He is a fan of new manager Erik ten Hag and sees him as the right man for this situation but doesn't see the requisite ambition and desire that he believes the club need to compete.

He is yet to return for pre-season training and is understood to be willing to take a considerable pay cut to ensure an exit this summer. United maintain that their top scorer isn’t for sale but a number of clubs have already been linked with moves.

Here are the current main contenders:

Chelsea

Chelsea have discussed the possibility of signing of Ronaldo and are certainly one of the few clubs in the world game who are capable of affording him, even at a reduced price. New owner Todd Boehly met with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes in recent weeks and is keen to start his tenure with a splash after buying the club from Roman Abramovich. Boss Thomas Tuchel is taking a bigger role in recruitment this summer following the takeover, however. Having sanctioned the exit of one striker who didn’t align with his methods in Romelu Lukaku already this summer would he really give the green light to adding another? Only time will tell.

Odds: 2/1

Bayern Munich

With star man Robert Lewandoski’s contract coming to an end in 2023, many believe he could be set to leave this summer after eight years at the club. Barcelona are leading the race and, if he does, Bayern could direct their attentions to Ronaldo following the signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool. Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic recently claimed there was “no truth” in talk of a move but should Lewandowski leave that could well change.

Odds: 4/1

AS Roma

“To be honest, I never believed in Ronaldo to Roma, because I know the reality of the current situation,” Francesco Totti said recently. Roma certainly don’t have the financial capacity to compete with others in a bidding war but Jose Mourinho is a big fan and following on from his Europa Conference League triumph last season could perhaps persuade the club to open the pursestrings just a bit. The lack of Champions League football, however, could prove a bigger obstacle.

Odds: 6/1

Real Madrid

After missing out so publicly on Kylian Mbappe, could the Champions League winners be tempted into an emotional reunion with one of their favourite sons? Ronaldo was spectacular in his first spell at the Bernabeu and could join Karim Benzema as part of one of the most feared strike partnerships in the world. Real have skewed younger in recent years in terms of incomings with the likes of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni arriving, but Florentino Perez has always been a sucker for a star. Would he go back for one of the biggest of all?

Odds: 12/1

Paris Saint-Germain

A failure to fully integrate the star front three of Lionel Messi, Mbappe and Neymar - a problem which helped cost Mauricio Pochettino his job - has sparked talk that the addition of Ronaldo could finally get them over the hump in the Champions League, the one competition they want to win more than any other. Neymar’s future is firmly up in the air too. Should he leave could they make room to finally pair Messi and Ronaldo at long last?

Odds: 14/1