Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t found his next destination yet despite telling Manchester United he wants to leave a month ago. The 37-year-old, in the quest of featuring in the UEFA Champions League has long decided to quit Old Trafford as the club will be participating in the second tier Europa League. However, Ronaldo has only faced rejections from over half-a-dozen ‘Champions League’ clubs over a move.
The Portugal international has gotten more restless after the Champions League draw took place a couple of days ago, which was also the first time in almost two decades that Ronaldo’s team didn’t feature in the event. While clubs like Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Juventus have also refused to take him, his agent Mendes has now pleaded with Napoli to take his client.
United want Napoli’s Victor Osimhen to replace Cristiano Ronaldo
According to Fox Sports, Mendes is trying hard to stage a return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Italy after he left Juventus last summer. The ‘super-agent’ is reportedly in talks with Napoli to get them sign his Ballon d’Or winner client. The Naples side finished third last season in the Serie A and hence will be in attendance at this year’s Champions league.
Since the start of the transfer window, Ronaldo has let known the hierarchy at Old Trafford he wants to leave for Champions League football. However, despite negotiations with a host of clubs the Portugal captain found nowhere to go from Manchester. The Red Devils’ mediocre transfer business and disappointing start to the season has further irked the 37-year-old who desperately wants a move out.
United on the other hand have been reluctant in letting Ronaldo leave since they haven’t got any adequate replacement of the mercurial forward. As a result, Jorge Mendes is now trying to engineer a transfer which could see United swap Ronaldo with Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has recently been linked with the Devils, who could now get him by sending Ronaldo the other way.
Osimhen moved to Napoli in the summer of 2020 as the club splashed a whopping £85 million on his acquisition from LOSC Lille. Their investment has fairly paid-off with the 23-year-old scoring 30 goals in 64 appearances for the club so far. Mendes feels a swap of Ronaldo-Osimhen could be a perfect solution since the Portuguese has an experience of Italian football, and the Nigerian is wanted by United.
Ronaldo had racked up a massive 81 goals in just 98 Serie A outings during his time with Juventus from 2018 to 2021, helping them clinch the Scudetto twice. Mendes feels Napoli is the right destination for the Portugal captain where he can flourish as well as continue to play in the Champions League. However, the Serie A giants do not anticipate accept a straight swap-deal given their heavy investment in Osimhen.
They are slated to demand a significant fee for Osimhen above the inclusion of Cristiano Ronaldo in a potential deal. On the other hand, the Nigerian’s agent Roberto Calenda has dealt a huge blow to Mendes’ plans, after he dismissed the reports of United’s interest in his client.
He told Fox Sports: “There are no negotiations or swap deal talks in progress. Osimhen’s Napoli player and he wants to play Champions League with Napoli, he’s proud of being in the UCL”. Mendes will now have to accelerate his movements since the Champions League kicks-off next month. Napoli meanwhile are bracing themselves up to face Ajax, Liverpool and Rangers in the Group A of the elite European competition.