Cristiano Ronaldo will not return to Sporting Lisbon this summer despite the club landing their first league title in 19 years.
The Lisbon-based giants were the first club of Ronaldo’s senior career and with the future of the 36-year-old increasingly uncertain, it had sparked rumours that the superstar may return to the club.
Ronaldo’s contract at Juventus expires in the summer of 2022 and it has been suggested that the club will look to cash-in on him this year rather than risk losing him as a free agent.
The outgoing Italian champions also must reduce their wage bill if they are to rejuvenate their squad, and the prospect of missing out on Champions League football next season has further increased the likelihood of sales.
That speculation increased substantially as the 36-year-old’s mother Dolores Aveiro explained in the title celebrations: “I’ll talk to him to bring him back. Next year he will play in Alvalade [the home of Sporting].”
However, despite the hopes of Dolores and the fact that the player himself has indicated he would like to play for the club again before he retires, but it does not appear that will happen next season.
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has spoken to rule out the forward moving back to Portugal next season, despite his joy at the club breaking their title barren run – which had stretched back to 2002.
Mendes told Record, as per Goal.com : "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."
Ronaldo netted five goals in 31 appearances for Sporting in the 2002-03 season before joining Manchester United, where he established himself as one of the world’s best talents.
Despite a move to Portugal seemingly being ruled out, Ronaldo’s future beyond this summer remains unclear.
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