Cristiano Ronaldo to Atlético Madrid depends on Simeone selling
Morata, Griezmann or Correa could be on their way out of Atlético Madrid to make the Ronaldo dream come true.
The temptation of Cristiano Ronaldo has shaken up Atlético Madrid’s plans. We can’t yet speak of an actual operation, because right now Atleti aren’t able to buy and Manchester United doesn’t want to sell, but the footballer’s attitude - he’s made it clear he wants out - means Atleti can start doing calculations for that moment when it might become possible to sign the Portuguese star. If they go all out for Cristiano Ronaldo (37 years old), the club will have to give up some of its attacking players. Some, in the plural.
At the moment, Cristiano Ronaldo has no place in Simeone’s team. Not from an economic point of view, because the salary limit has been exceeded and Atleti know they have to sell at least 40 million euros of talent (the dollar and the euro are at parity at the moment), and not from a sporting perspective, because coach Simeone has five strikers for, in principle, two places in the starting eleven, João Félix, Griezmann, Cunha, Correa and Morata. For the Portuguese striker to fit in, one, or possibly two, will have to leave. João Félix (22 years old) is the club’s most treasured asset and untouchable. From that point…
João, Morata, Griezmann, Correa and Cunha: five for two places
Of the other four, Morata (29) is the one with the most uncertain future, both on a personal level, although he is already psyched to wear red and white this season, and on the part of the club, because offers have come in for him. Griezmann (31), is a major figure in Simeone’s plans, but his high salary and his performances in recent months weigh against him. However, as he still belongs to Barça, his departure would be a difficult one to execute, since Barça would have to find a transfer for him. Correa (27) was up for leaving at the end of the season, but the situation has calmed down and no strong offers have come in for him either. And Cunha (23) is a bet for the present and future, so the club aren’t looking to push him out.
Atlético Madrid insist that the operation for Cristiano Ronaldo right now is entirely economically unfeasible. That’s the reality, the club’s cash situation and the LaLiga regulations have Atleti tied down, hence why it’s proving so difficult to bring in highly desired right-back, Nahuel Molina. But then the signings of Luis Suárez (2020) and Griezmann (2021) were apparently impossible at first glance. Atleti have not started their bid for Cristiano Ronaldo in all seriousness, they are waiting to see how things pan out, but always with an eye on the numbers. What Cristiano Ronaldo wants appears to be key, because the other side of the triangle is Manchester United, who for now are not backing down and coach Ten Hag is talking about the option of extending Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract until 2024. But the Portuguese star doesn’t seem keen.