Cristiano Ronaldo Next Team Odds: Chelsea Have 57% Chance
Patrick Surlis | 11 mins
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Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to leave Manchester United this summer, just one year after returning to the club. His availability has sparked considerable interest among many of Europe's top clubs.
Ronaldo, 37, has one year remaining on his United contract and publicly the club has said it intends to keep him. He scored 24 goals in all competitions for United last season, leading the team's scoring chart, but a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Premier League has reportedly led Ronaldo to consider his options.
The latest reports say he wants to play at the highest level of European competition - which means the Champions League - and to add more fuel to the fire, this week Ronaldo was left out of United's squad for its preseason tour of Thailand and Australia.
Cristiano Ronaldo Next Team Odds
Many of the best betting sites in the United States do not currently offer a market on Ronaldo's next team but several in the United Kingdom do, including bet365.
Let's take a look at the top contenders to sign Ronaldo, according to their soccer betting market:
Odds courtesy of bet365 and accurate as of publication.
Ronaldo has been training at Portugal's training base - Cidade do Futebol - for the past few days. He was expected to return to United last Monday but reportedly told the club of his desire to leave should a suitable offer arrive.
That prompted almost immediate interest from Chelsea, who are under new ownership following Roman Abramovich's sale of the team to a consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly. Chelsea's price to sign Ronaldo has surged from +2800 last week all the way down to -138.
Boehly, who is also a part owner of the LA Dodgers, has taken a hands-on approach to transfers in his first few weeks and signing Ronaldo would certainly be making a splash.
The new Chelsea owner recently met with Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, and Chelsea has space in its squad for a striker after Romelu Lukaku departed on loan to Inter Milan. Those recent moves are reflected in Chelsea's -138 odds, but the main stumbling block would be United's unwillingness to strengthen a direct Premier League rival.
Like Chelsea, the German giants could use a player like Ronaldo. They are about to lose their prolific Polish striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona and Ronaldo would be a direct replacement.
Bayern has already agreed terms with Sadio Mane from Liverpool but he will likely play out wide, rather than through the middle.
The question here is whether Bayern would want to sign another player on the wrong side of 30 years old. It has the money to compete with Europe's biggest clubs but Bayern typically likes to sign the best up-and-coming talent, rather than established superstars on the decline.
When talking about clubs that have the money, PSG is at the top of the list. It could afford Ronaldo, it's just almost unthinkable it would try to sign him when it already has Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Christophe Galtier, PSG's new coach, is more concerned with keeping that trio happy than adding another expensive, high-maintenance superstar.
Could Ronaldo be reunited with former coach Jose Mourinho in Rome? It seems extremely unlikely but nothing is impossible when it comes to the Special One. Ronaldo worked under Mourinho at Real Madrid and the pair won La Liga together in 2012.
But if Ronaldo wants to continue playing at the very highest level, Roma is not a contender. Roma won the Europa Conference League last season, so it will compete in the Europa League this upcoming season, but it finished a distant 6th in Serie A.
Roma also has Tammy Abraham up front, a young talent who took the Italian league by storm last year, scoring 17 league goals and 27 in all competitions. Adding Ronaldo would stifle his development.
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Other Options For Ronaldo
A return to Real Madrid would no doubt appeal to Ronaldo but the defending Champions League winners have likely moved on. Karim Benzema has stepped out of Ronaldo's shadow and starred for Real, with the club still keen to one day add Mbappe to its list of storied strikers.
What Barcelona is planning is anyone's guess. The finances at the Nou Camp are a mess and they reportedly are trying to offload Frenkie De Jong to make a deal for Lewandowski work. The Barca fans would revolt if the club tried to sign a Bernabeu legend like Ronaldo.
The fairytale homecoming would be Ronaldo returning to his first professional club, Sporting Lisbon. It's qualified for the Champions League group stage, so ticks one box, but the finances would be extremely difficult.
Ronaldo's legal issues in the United States regarding a rape allegation in Las Vegas had meant that for several years a move to MLS was unlikely. But the lawsuit was dismissed by a US judge in June and a move Stateside is among the list of options for Ronaldo on the bet365 market on its sports betting app.
However, a move to the United States would all-but signal the end of Ronaldo's career at the highest level of soccer.