Ronaldo ready to take paycut to join Atletico Madrid – media
The La Liga giants would have to offload players to get a deal over the line, however
Cristiano Ronaldo has shown a readiness to take a pay cut from his Manchester United salary in order to join Atletico Madrid, a report has claimed.
The Portuguese veteran did not show up for the Red Devils' preseason camp earlier this month, and is therefore not on their ongoing tour of Australia.
His agent Jorge Mendes is currently trying to find the five-time Ballon d'Or winner a new club in search of the Champions League football United can't offer him.
Yet so far the duo have been knocked back by the likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich according to various reports.
As he runs out of options, Atletico Madrid has popped up as an unlikely destination according to the Daily Mail.
Fans of the Rojiblancos won't remember the 37-year-old veteran fondly due to his part in two painful Champions League final wins over them in 2014 and 2017 during his Real Madrid days, and Atletico were also the club he scored against most in Spain.
This aside, however, Mendes is exploring the possibility of Ronaldo, who still has a year left to run on his United contract, being taken away on loan.
Ronaldo would also have to take a pay cut on his £360,000 ($432,000) a week salary at Old Trafford which he is allegedly willing to do.
But even so, Atleti would have to sell players to balance the books and navigate Financial Fair Play regulations if a coup for Ronaldo became concrete.
Two fading stars that could be offloaded are Antoine Griezmann, who has failed to impress since returning to the Wanda on a two-year loan deal from Barcelona himself with an obligation to buy, and flop striker Alvaro Morata who Juventus are interested in.
Though currently out of action, Ronaldo is staying in shape as communicated by a series of Instagram posts made in recent days that show him pumping iron in Lisbon.
His latest, on Saturday, was captioned by a simple tensed muscle emoji. But there are fears that even if he were to return to United, Ronaldo might not be match fit due to already missing a near three weeks' worth of preseason training and matches.
The transfer window doesn't close until September 1, yet with United's Premier League campaign getting underway on August 7 against Brentford his future needs to be resolved soon with new coach Erik ten Hag still planning to have him in his first team squad.
As luck would have it, United's next friendly in preparation for 2022/2023 comes on Saturday against Atleti in Oslo.
And though the match is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things, the Mancunians might look to exact some sort of revenge on the Spaniards for knocking them out of the Champions League round of 16 in March this year.