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SPORT

What’s going on with Cristiano Ronaldo?

Words by Nathan Irvine

Run, Ronnie

After a bizarre Instagram post that did nothing to quell the talk of an imminent departure to Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo's subsequent behaviour is equally odd. Jonathan Northcroft of The Times UK summed it well in his recent emailer to subscribers. It posited whether the Juventus and Portugal star was feeling left out. Especially since long-term rival, Lionel Messi has been busy breaking the internet with his move from a debt-ridden Barcelona to cash-rich PSG. He's never been one to settle for second best, so is his one-man rumour mill designed to keep him relevant? His latest move suggests so.

Ronaldo - though fully fit - started on the bench for Juventus against Udinese on August 22nd. Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved and manager Massimo Allegri said that all three of them decided on the move. But word on the Turin streets suggest the Portuguese asked to be a sub so he could potentially avoid a transfer-scuppering injury. Regardless, the spotlight is suddenly glowing above Cristiano Ronaldo again... just how he likes it.

Final destination

Even if Cristiano Ronaldo did get a move, his landing spots are increasingly limited. Only a handful of clubs could afford the salary he would demand. Manchester City? Sure, but they're desperate for Harry Kane to lead the line at the Etihad Stadium. PSG have just brought in Messi, so that's a no-go. Real Madrid, like the rest of La Liga, are broke. Chinese teams are no longer able to offer mega-salaries. Which just leaves Manchester United. Whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would risk blowing his carefully constructed rebuild apart to bring in an aging Ronaldo is another question.

Of course, if there wasn't anything to these rumours, and it was just talk, then Ronaldo could simply come out and say he's happy at Juventus and isn't going anywhere. There's still time for this. But this will only happen once the transfer window shuts and he's still at Juve. For our money, while stars such as Harry Kane, Paul Pogba and even Robert Lewandowski are being linked with moves this summer, expect Ronaldo to keep us all guessing for a little while longer.

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