Atletico Madrid had been among the clubs linked to the Portuguese forward
Atletico Madrid have become the latest club to rule themselves out of signing Cristiano Ronaldo after president Enrique Cerezo dismissed a move for the 37-year-old.
Atletico were among the names to be linked to Ronaldo in the media as the striker desperately seeks an exit from Manchester United ahead of the new season.
The claims that Atletico could be among Ronaldo’s suitors caused surprise among some, considering the star’s glittering success in a nine-year spell on the other side of town at Real Madrid.
Reports had even suggested that Ronaldo was willing to take a pay cut to secure a move to Diego Simeone’s team, where he would be assured of Champions League football next season.
But Atletico chief Cerezo has rejected the rumors, saying: “I don’t know who invented this story about Cristiano, but it is practically impossible for him to come.”
The comments will come as a welcome relief to some sections of the Atletico fanbase, who had even set up on an online petition using the #ContraCR7 (against CR7) hashtag to make their feelings against Ronaldo clear.
“We are not an asylum to collect scum,” one fan fumed.
The decision from Atletico follows similar snubs for Ronaldo from Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, meaning agent Jorge Mendes is still scrambling to find his star name a new home for next season.
After missing the entirety of Manchester United’s preseason tour in Thailand and Australia for what were described as “family reasons,” Ronaldo finally did rejoin the squad back at their Carrington training base in England on Tuesday.
The forward will hold discussions on his future with United manager Erik ten Hag, who has insisted that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is not for sale this summer and is very much part of his plans for the new season.
Recent reports have indicated that a solution could see Ronaldo – who is United’s top earner – make a loan move for next season so that he can play Champions League football, but on condition that he activates a one-year contract extension at Old Trafford.
Figures at United, however, are said to have branded those claims “nonsense.”
By coincidence, Ten Hag’s men are due to face Atletico Madrid in a friendly in Oslo on Saturday, before getting their Premier League campaign underway against Brighton at Old Trafford on August 7.