Cristiano Ronaldo suffers another setback as Atletico ‘can’t afford Man Utd ace’

Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered yet another transfer setback as Atletico Madrid reportedly cannot afford the Manchester United ace.

After seeing reported moves to Chelsea, Barcelona and PSG all hit stumbling blocks, the Portuguese icon, 37, had seemingly sealed his Old Trafford exit with Diego Simeone keen to bring him back to the Spanish capital and keep dreams of a 20th successive Champions League term alive.

Despite an impressive 18-goal return, Ronaldo could do little to prevent United's worst-ever Premier League campaign as the Red Devils slumped to a sixth-place finish. However, hopes of a summer exit are now hanging by a thread.

READ MORE: Erik ten Hag has Man Utd plan if Red Devils fail to sign Frenkie de Jong

Despite positive meetings between Ronaldo's representatives and Simeone, Spanish outlet Marca allege Atleti are unable to afford his eye-watering £480k-a-week wages – which blitz that of top earner Antoine Griezmann by a whopping £130k-a-week.

Journalist Manu Sainz also reports that the La Liga outfit needs to generate at least £34m before they could even entertain the possibility of signing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner and an agreement seems unlikely at this stage.

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Batting away a staggering £233m contract in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo has given super-agent Jorge Mendes strict instructions to find him a club competing in the Champions League next season. Bayern Munich now seems his best option.

The Bundesliga juggernauts are set to lose star striker Robert Lewandowski, who is undergoing a medical at Barcelona ahead of a £42m transfer, and would be one of only a few clubs able to match Ronaldo's European ambitions – however, the Bavarians have denied any interest so far.

Still yet to report for pre-season training, it's not inconceivable that Ronaldo stays put at United. Portugal's record goalscorer still has 12 months remaining on his deal at Old Trafford and newly appointed boss Erik ten Hag has already informed supporters he is not for sale in the transfer market.

"We are planning with Ronaldo for this season – that's it. I'm looking forward to working with him," Ten Hag told reporters. "He hasn't told me this [that he wants to leave]. I have read, but as I say, Cristiano is not for sale, he's in our plans and we want to get success together."


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