Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly wants to move on from Juventus.
His likely destination? Manchester City, with whom Romano reports Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, is currently negotiating. City has yet to offer a bid, but with their deep pockets, the matter might already be a formality.
It would represent a stunning final (we think) turn for this summer's transfer window, which has already seen Lionel Messi leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain and could yet watch Real Madrid seal a deal for PSG's Kylian Mbappé.
Why the move makes sense for both Ronaldo and Man City
Both Ronaldo and Manchester City would have to give up money to make this deal happen. Ronaldo's reported salary will now be $17.6 million per season, which is about half of his salary with Juventus. Man City didn't want to pay a transfer fee of any kind, but that's exactly what they ended up doing.
But both parties would come out ahead in this deal. Ronaldo may be taking a pay cut, but now the 35-year-old would get one more big shot at winning the UEFA Champions League. City manager Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, plans on leaving the club in 2023 and would now sign the star striker he's coveted after missing out on Tottenham's Harry Kane.
Did Messi move to PSG hasten Ronaldo's thinking?
While Messi and Ronaldo have long enjoyed a cordial relationship that belies the ferocity of their supporters, both are keenly aware of the other's historic accomplishments.
At this point, Ronaldo has won the Champions League, the ultimate prize in world soccer, five times to Messi's four. With Messi now leading an absolutely stacked PSG team, he has a gilded chance to tie that mark. If Ronaldo signs with City, he'll be joining a star-studded squad that finished as Champions League runners-up last season. The two teams would even face each other twice in the group stage this season.
Moreover, despite the talent on paper ranking with Europe's best, Juventus never advanced past the Champions League quarterfinals since Ronaldo's seismic arrival three summers ago. The club is now in need of a revamp after failing to win Serie A for the first time in a decade last season, and Ronaldo clearly didn't want to be part of that process.
So fans will be left to wonder how Ronaldo's time in Turin could have been different — regardless of where he ends up.