WORLD CUP 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo: PSG tipped to step up interest, chief in Sochi

Cristiano Ronaldo: PSG tipped to step up interest, chief in Sochi

JUAN FLOR

DIARIO AS

Paris Saint-Germain's Nasser Al-Khelaifi will be in the stands as the star's Portugal side open up their World Cup campaign against Spain.

Sochi

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo gets his World Cup campaign underway today with his future yet to be resolved. In the immediate aftermath of the Champions League final in Kiev, the Real Madrid star explained that he would clarify his plans in the days following the 3-1 win over Liverpool - but since that evening late last month, he hasn't said a word.

And in recent hours, news has broken that could move Cristiano one step closer to the Bernabéu exit door: Uefa has opted against handing down 'financial fair play' sanctions to Paris Saint-Germain, leaving the Ligue 1 champions better placed to pursue the signing of the forward.

PSG could be about to step up Cristiano interest

Against this backdrop, it has emerged that PSG's president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, is to attend Portugal's World Cup opener against Spain tonight. His presence in Sochi could be related to the Parisians' interest in snapping up the Ballon d'Or holder.

It would not be a straightforward deal. It remains to be seen exactly how much Real would seek for the 33-year-old, or if Los Blancos would look to include Neymar in the transaction. Sources close to the Brazil international have told AS that he is now unlikely to leave the Parc des Princes this summer.

The potential purchase of Cristiano is not a move that PSG have only begun to consider in recent weeks. The French capital club have been preparing the ground for the deal for more than a year, in a manner similar to the way in which they planned last August's world-record signing of Neymar.

Griezmann's improved Atleti contract fuels unhappiness

Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann's announcement that he is staying at Atlético Madrid is believed to have strengthened Cristiano's unhappiness with Real president Florentino Pérez, and his desire to leave. This is because Atleti are set to reward the Frenchman with a new contract worth a reported 23m euros a year, pushing Ronaldo further down the list of the world's best-paid players.

PSG are not the only option open to Cristiano, however. Manchester United are also targeting the star, who spent six years at Old Trafford before joining Real in 2009, and Red Devils manager José Mourinho is expected to go after the striker if there is even the slightest chance of re-signing him.

Chelsea were also a possible destination - with club owner Roman Abramovich keen to invest in a world star once more - until the Blues' failure to qualify for the Champions League was confirmed.

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