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Sporting CP coach rules out Cristiano Ronaldo deal over wages

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Sporting CP head coach Ruben Amorim has claimed that the Portuguese club don’t have the money to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo, even if the 37-year-old would be a ‘dream’ transfer.

Ronaldo famously started his professional career at Sporting, having moved to Lisbon from his home on the island of Madeira at 12 and making his debut first-team debut at 17. He joined Manchester United just a year later and was catapulted on the road to superstardom.

But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, back in Manchester since 2021, has seen his fairytale reunion with his former team turn sour. He asked to leave during the summer and has fallen out of favour with manager Erik ten Hag, even being dropped from the squad altogether for Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea as a ‘consequence’ for walking down the tunnel early against Tottenham.

Ronaldo has since returned to United training but, as 90min reported on Monday, player and club are prepared to part ways in January, even if the exact exit route remains unclear – United don’t see simply releasing Ronaldo as a free agent as an ideal option because of the cost.

A number of European giants – including Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain – backed away from an approach, although Sporting were exploring ways to do a deal in late August. 90min revealed at the time that one of their considerations was offering Ronaldo an ownership stake in the club.

But speaking ahead of Sporting’s Champions League clash with Tottenham this week, Amorim now appears to have quashed rumours of a reunion being on the cards. And it comes down to money.

“I’ll answer the same way because a lot of journalists ask me the same question. [Ronaldo] is a Manchester United player,” the Sporting coach, who recently turned down the Aston Villa job, said.

“Everybody in Sporting dreams of the return for Cristiano but we don’t have the money to pay his wages. I think he’s happy in Manchester but he’s not playing so that’s the problem.”

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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