Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United by mutual agreement. After his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, it was clear that the legendary Portuguese forward wasn't going to have a future at the club.
Ronaldo took shots at manager Erik ten Hag, his teammates, the administration and the owners of the club, among other things. Ronaldo is now with the Portugal national team in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
As soon as the World Cup ends, club action will return and Ronaldo won't want to miss much action. For that, he will need to find a new club soon.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the five most likely destinations for free agent Cristiano Ronaldo.
#5 Sporting Lisbon
Ronaldo started his senior career with Sporting Lisbon. It was the Portuguese side that introduced him to the world of football and he has been consistently linked with a return to his boyhood club.
Sporting have named their academy and training facilities after Ronaldo. This paints a clear picture of how much respect they have for him. Ronaldo's mother, Dolores Aveiro, has previously said (via ESPN) that she wants her son to eventually return to Sporting as well.
It would be an emotional return if it does happen and it would be great to see the career of one of the GOATs of the game come full circle.
#4 Real Madrid
Real Madrid is where Cristiano Ronaldo truly established himself as one of the greatest of all time. He had an incredible time at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning two La Liga and four Champions League titles.
In 438 matches across all competitions for Los Blancos, Ronaldo scored 450 goals and provided 131 assists. The Portuguese icon would love the idea of returning to Madrid for one last dance.
Real Madrid have been focused on building a squad for the future. They have the money and still hold Ronaldo in high regard. But do they want him back in their side as they push for yet another La Liga and Champions League double? Seems unlikely but it's not impossible.
Napoli have been a force to be reckoned with in the 2022-23 season so far. They are yet to lose a single league game and currently have an eight-point lead at the top of the table after 15 games.
Napoli were linked with Ronaldo in the summer but a move didn't materialize. The Partenopei haven't won the Scudetto in a very long time and having a serial winner like Ronaldo in the dressing could be of great help.
But Napoli will be aware of the fact that Ronaldo won't be content with playing a bit-part role. As such, if they decide to bring him in, they will need to upset the rhythm of the current side.
#2 Newcastle United
Newcastle United have been a different beast under the new ownership. Backed with Saudi money, the Magpies have the financial ability to entice some of the best players in the world right now. They are also playing some excellent football under Eddie Howe and are currently third in the Premier League table.
The Newcastle United revival is well and truly underway. They could make quite a statement by signing Ronaldo as that would help jolt them right back into the spotlight after a long time.
Newcastle can definitely service Ronaldo's wages. According to Spanish journalist Jose Felix Diaz, Ronaldo is torn between Newcastle United and Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC.
Chelsea did sound out the possibility of roping in Ronaldo last summer. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was reportedly open to a move. However, former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel vetoed the deal. Tuchel has since been fired and Graham Potter has replaced him.
Chelsea are struggling right now under their new manager and are likely to be active during the January transfer window. The Blues are more than capable of meeting Ronaldo's high wage demands. Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is likely to be keen to explore a deal for the 37-year-old striker.
At this point, Ronaldo would be happy to join another Premier League club and end his time in the English top flight on a high note.