Cristiano Ronaldo mocked by club president amid Man Utd exit links

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Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim has laughed off rumours of an ambitious January move for Cristiano Ronaldo by insisting that the 37-year-old would not even start for the Brazilian heavyweights on a regular basis. Ronaldo is widely expected to leave Manchester United before the start of next season and could seemingly be sold in January if a suitable offer comes in for his signature when the transfer market reopens.

Ronaldo, who has scored three goals in all competitions since the beginning of the campaign, recently returned to action for United after falling out with Erik ten Hag last month but is still believed to be keen on a move elsewhere at the first available opportunity. It seems as though he will not be joining Flamengo, though, with Landim having joked that he would not be able to justify spending that much money on a player to warm the bench.

“I don’t know where it came from but they have a lot of creativity,” he told Papo Reto. “First of all, I ask: For whose place? It’s to be on the bench.

“From what I’ve read on the internet, I don’t know if it’s true or not, he would have been offered $242million [£215m] for a two-year contract, divided by 24 months, that’s about $10m [£8.9m] a month. Talk about a value far above the entire salary sheet of Flamengo for Cristiano Ronaldo.

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“To be Pedro or Gabigol’s substitute? I can’t. Nobody here is going to go crazy things. The amateur time of managing, of thinking that in the future we’ll pay the bills, that no longer exists. There is no possibility of taking a step that is not firm.”

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo will be able to find a new club when the transfer window reopens in January after failing to do so in pre-season in spite of his best efforts. The only concrete offer for his services was reportedly tabled by Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal but was not seriously considered by either United or Ronaldo, who remains determined to play in the Champions League with one of Europe’s biggest clubs if possible.

Marseille have also been mentioned in connection with a move for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in recent months but have already ruled themselves out of the running, with club president Pablo Longoria unwilling to sign big-name players merely for the sake of doing so.

“Football is very clear, you make do with the means you have at your disposal, with a financial balance,” Longoria told RMC Sport.

“You have to do everything to get better results, seek to improve the team, but with financial stability. That’s important in 2022. We need a sustainable financial situation. We are far from ideas like that [of signing Ronaldo], of big stars, individual players.

“We’re more focused on team players who put in individual performances which serve the team. We have a project where everyone needs to work for a collective.”

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