Serie A giants AC Milan and Inter Milan were offered the services of Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, according to reports in Italy, but both San Siro sides considered the striker too expensive.
The 37-year-old’s future has been one of the major transfer topics of the summer, as he reportedly asked to be allowed to leave to join a club competing in the Champions League.
But with the Premier League season now in full swing, Ronaldo remains a United player and has struggled to find a team willing to fork out a bumper salary to bring him in.
Premier League
Ronaldo charged by FA over phone incident with fan
YESTERDAY AT 17:23
Corriere dello Sport reports that Milanese rivals AC Milan and Inter were both contacted by Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes between the end of June and start of July.
He was sounding out the possibility of Ronaldo returning to Italy, as the Portugal international was taken by the idea of living in Milan and playing in the Champions League at San Siro.
However, any chance of a move soon "evaporated" due to Ronaldo’s €24 million per year net salary.
To make matters worse, neither Milan club would have been able to access the tax benefits of Italy’s ‘Growth Decree’, as Juventus did, because Ronaldo didn’t maintain his Italian residence after leaving Turin last summer.
That would have meant the total gross cost of Ronaldo’s annual salary would have been around €45m, far too much for either club.
Ronaldo has also been linked with the likes of Sporting Lisbon, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, but United remain determined to keep hold of their star man.
The veteran returned to Old Trafford last summer after three years in Italy with Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia.
He was the Red Devils’ top scorer in 2021/22, netting 24 goals in all competitions, but there were widespread debates around how beneficial he was to the team's tactics after they slumped to a sixth-place Premier League finish.
Erik ten Hag came in as the new United manager this summer, but the Dutchman has got off to a disastrous start.
His team fell to a 2-1 opening day defeat at home to Brighton, before suffering a humiliating 4-0 hammering at Brentford on Saturday to tumble to the bottom of the league standings.
Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes against the Bees and was unable to influence proceedings in his first start of the season.
World Cup
'I want to be at Euro 2024' – Ronaldo not planning to retire any time soon
22/09/2022 AT 08:01
Football
‘Doesn’t let you breathe’ - Alves describes Ronaldo as his toughest opponent
15/09/2022 AT 20:19