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SOCCER

Is a move to Napoli Cristiano Ronaldo’s last hope for Old Trafford exit?

Marseille president Pablo Longoria was clear about the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo. “It’s the same as talking about Haaland or Darwin.”

Update:
Marseille the latest to close door on move for Cristiano Ronaldo
PHIL NOBLEREUTERS

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future remains up in the air. The Portuguese striker is back in training with Manchester United but was left on the bench for the victory over Liverpool, Erik ten Hag’s first of the season, and is still eyeing the Old Trafford exit door. However, Ronaldo is rapidly running out of options. Proposed moves to Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Atlético all failed to materialise and the list of clubs that could accommodate the greatest goalscorer of all time grows incresingly thin. Another door that has closed is that of Olympique Marseille whose president, Pablo Longoria, laughed off suggestions the Ligue 1 side were in the running for Ronaldo.

“It’s the social media world we live in,” Longoria said. “When people ask me about Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s like asking if De Bruyne, Darwin or Haaland are coming to Marseille. Dreaming is beautiful, but we have to be realistic and work with the resources we have. The aim of our project is to have a competitive team but, above all, with balanced finances”, Marseille’s top executive replied on Thursday when asked about the matter during the Champions League draw in Istanbul.

Napoli remains a possibility for Ronaldo

Italian daily Tuttosport ran a story on its front page on Friday revisiting the possibility that Ronaldo could wind up at Napoli. AS’ Italian football reporter Mirko Calemme added on Twitter: “Talks between Mendes and Napoli over Cristiano Ronaldo have lasted more than a month. The idea of the Portuguese clearly fascinates [Napoli], but it is only achievable by letting [Victor] Osimhen leave.”

Corriere dello Sport goes a step further, suggesting that Jorge Mendes has been working on a deal for months that would involve a complicated process of presenting the Serie A side with an offer from Manchester United for Osimhen, one of the most coveted strikers in Europe and, in exchange, pushing for Napoli to agree to the signing of Ronaldo. However, such an operation faces a considerable stumbling block in that notorious hard-baller Aurelio De Laurentiis values the Nigeria international at €120 million euros and will not consider a sale for anything less.

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