Ronaldo has not travelled with the rest of the Manchester United squad for their pre-season friendly against Liverpool in Bangkok. While his absence is for family reasons, the 37-year-old continues to be linked with a summer exit after being dissatisfied with United’s form and transfer activity since he returned to the club from Juventus last year.
There are only a handful of clubs expected to be in the mix for Ronaldo, with Chelsea among them. However, the prospect of a Paris Saint-Germain move – and with it a chance to play alongside Messi – has also been floated.
Back in 2015, Messi was asked about the prospect of playing alongside Ronaldo. At the time, the pair were rivals with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, and had been battling it out for a number of successive Ballons d’Or, but the Argentine adopted a never-say never approach.
“Yes, of course,” he said when quizzed on the subject. “I always like to play with the best, and he is one of them.
“I think it will be difficult for us to play in the same team, but obviously I would like to. I was lucky enough to play and participate with many very good players and, obviously, I would also like to do it with him.”
Ronaldo wouldn’t be prepared to move absolutely anywhere, but PSG is one of the destinations he is prepared to consider. It appears Champions League football is a must for the veteran, who is running out of time to add to his trophy cabinet after last winning the European crown in 2018.
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PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi suggested his team hadn’t even considered a move for Ronaldo when he left Juventus for United in 2021. However, with the French champions accompanied by Chelsea and Bayern Munich on the list of potential destinations for the former Real Madrid star, the future remains uncertain.
Much may hinge on PSG’s own transfer business under new manager Christophe Galtier, who has taken the reins after Mauricio Pochettino’s dismissal. While Kylian Mbappe will remain at the Parc des Princes after agreeing a big-money contract extension, and Messi has a year remaining on his deal, the future of Neymar is less set in stone.
The Brazil international has been linked with a summer exit, five years after his world-record move to Paris, with Chelsea among the possible buyers. If he does leave, with Angel Di Maria having already left PSG this summer, it could free up space for a new attacking recruit.