Barcelona are reportedly lining up a stunning bid to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Portugal star’s acrimonious exit from Manchester United.
Ronaldo had his Man Utd contract terminated by mutual consent last week, after taking part in an incendiary 90-minute TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan.
The 37-year-old was scathing of the Old Trafford club and insisted he had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.
Ronaldo is now focused on Qatar 2022, using the tournament as a shop window for prospective buyers.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will not be short of suitors, despite his powers having clearly waned.
He has been linked with a massive $225million (£187million) three-year contract with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr. Meanwhile, Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing the Portuguese star on a short-term deal.
However, a move to Barcelona would be the biggest surprise of all.
Ronaldo’s Barcelona links
Spanish publication El Nacional (via Football365) claims that Ronaldo, Barcelona president Joan Laporta and super agent Jorge Mendes have held a “three-way meeting” over the prospect of a transfer to the Catalan giants.
The La Liga side have reportedly “joined the battle” to sign Ronaldo, who scored a record 450 times for Barcelona’s fiercest rival Real Madrid across a nine-year period.
Laporta is also thought to be keen on Ruben Neves. With the pair sharing the same agent the publication suggests that bringing in the Wolves midfielder “could trigger the signing” of the Portugal star.
El Nacional adds that Barca is “a very serious option given the good relationship between Laporta and [Mendes].”
A number of names have been quoted as potential Ronaldo replacements.
Netherlands star Cody Gakpo, who has recorded 12 goals and 15 assists for PSV this season, has attracted interest from Man Utd.
Meanwhile, Victor Osimhen, Harry Kane, Christian Pulisic and Memphis Depay are all players the Old Trafford club are said to be considering, to bolster their attacking options.