IT seems like it is only a matter of time before he leaves Manchester United again – but where will Cristiano Ronaldo go next?
Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo has lost his starting place under new manager Erik ten HagCredit: Alamy
Ten Hag made all five of his permitted subs as he looked to mitigate the inevitable aftershock resulting from a spanking by their noisy neighbours.
But world football legend Ronaldo was left in his seat to face all the undignified camera cutaways at the Etihad.
And the fact the much-maligned Anthony Martial – who was loaned out to Sevilla this year – did come on instead of a striker who has 142 Red Devils goals suggest the divisions run deeper.
So here we look at five possible destination clubs for the Portugal skipper – with some perhaps slightly more viable than others!
Ronaldo’s first proper club and the place where he caught the eye of the footballing world might provide a sentimental homecoming.
The Portuguese giants are still decent too and top Champions League Group D after wins over Eintracht Frankfurt and Spurs.
A player-manager role has long been touted for Ronaldo – the bookies even had him in the running for the United job last season.
So where better than a newly managerless Prem club which has been built on Portuguese know-how for the past five years?
The 37-year old has already proved he can smash it in Serie A with 81 goals in 98 games for Juventus along with a couple of Serie A titles.
Napoli’s interest looked one of the more serious propositions this summer and they might come back in for him.
A leftfield shout – but why not the Scottish champions?
Alan Brazil started the cheeky campaign for this move on talkSPORT by pointing out they can offer him Champions League football. And it is one of the European countries Ronaldo has not graced yet.
The Bundesliga is the one major European league title he does not have on his CV.