Cristiano Ronaldo had been linked with a dramatic return to his boyhood club
Cristiano Ronaldo has no plans to make a return to Sporting CP this summer, according to his agent Jorge Mendes.
The 36-year-old’s future at Juventus is increasingly uncertain with speculation a summer move is in the offing as he prepares to enter the final 12 months of his contract in Turin.
Some of that speculation suggested the forward could make a dramatic return to his boyhood club Sporting, though Mendes has moved quickly to quash those claims.
What was said?
It was Ronaldo’s mother, Dolores Aveiro, who helped to fuel rumours about a return to Sporting earlier this week.
Speaking to supporters about her son’s future from her balcony as they celebrated Sporting’s first Primeira Liga title success since 2002, she said: “I’ll talk to him to bring him back. Next year he will play in Alvalade [Sporting’s stadium].”
However, it appears even Ronaldo’s mother cannot persuade the forward to return to his homeland just yet, even if he has previously indicated he would like to end his career there.
Responding to the rumours, Mendes told Record: “Cristiano is proud of the title won by Sporting, in fact, as he has publicly demonstrated. But at the moment his career plans do not go through Portugal”.
The bigger picture
Though a return to Sporting looks unlikely for now, Ronaldo’s future at Juventus remains unclear.
His time in Turn can hardly be considered a failure. He was won back-to-back Serie A titles and last week he became the fastest player in the club’s history to reach 100 goals.
However, the Bianconeri have relinquished their title to Inter this term, were eliminated early from the Champions League once more and face a real battle to even qualify for the competition next season as they currently sit in fifth place with two games left.
Such uncertainty means a summer of change could be in the offing with Ronaldo, as one of the club’s top earners, among those who could be moved on.
Even at 36 there would be still plenty of clubs keen on signing the Portugal forward, with returns to Manchester United and Real Madrid often mooted.
Ronaldo has hinted in the past that a spell in MLS may appeal to him, while wealthy sides in the Middle East would also likely enter the bidding if Ronaldo chose to move on.