Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been invited to join Serie A’s surprise package by a former Leeds Utd player who is enjoying a career renaissance.
The 37-year-old recently confirmed he has no plans to retire from international football after the Qatar World Cup. In fact, Ronaldo hopes to feature at Euro 2024 in Germany, by which point he’ll be 39.
Ronaldo remains a key part of Portugal’s set-up on the international scene. However, his career at club level is in limbo.
The veteran striker pushed to leave Manchester United in the summer, citing his desire to continue his Champions League legacy.
A laundry list of clubs across Europe were linked, though the end result was Ronaldo remaining at Old Trafford.
Even worse for Ronaldo, minutes on the pitch have proved difficult to come by under Erik ten Hag.
Marcus Rashford has generally been preferred up front in the league. His situation won’t ease when Anthony Martial returns to full fitness either.
The Frenchman looked a man on a mission in pre-season and would’ve started the campaign at centre forward if not sidelined through injury.
Ronaldo’s current contract expires next summer, though United do hold an option for a further 12 months.
At present, it appears unlike they’d trigger it, meaning Ronaldo could become a free agent in nine months’ time.
The rumour mill would go into overdrive in that scenario, and Udinese goalkeeper Marco Silvestri has done his part to get the wheels turning early.
Ex-Leeds star extends Udinese invitation
The 31-year-old stopper played for Leeds United between 2014-17 before returning back to Italy when ousted by Rob Green.
He re-found his footing at Verona before transferring to Udinese ahead of the 2021/22 campaign. Silvestri is Udinese’s starting goalkeeper and has helped them become Serie A’s surprise package this season.
Indeed, after seven matches they sit third in the table and have impressive 4-0 and 3-1 victories over Roma and Inter Milan respectively on their CV.
Silvestri has been a big part of their surge and reacting to a DAZN post on Instagram sharing Ronaldo’s comments about his future, Silvestri replied “Come to Udinese” in Italian (via Goal).
Udinese got in on the act, posting an eyes emoji soon after.
Could Cristiano Ronaldo actually join Udinese?
Ronaldo’s key demand is Champions League football and Udinese do currently sit inside Serie A’s top four.
However, the season is still young and the likes of Lazio, Roma, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus will all fancy their chances of chasing them down.
What’s more, Ronaldo currently pockets just north of £500,000-a-week.
That level of salary would put him out of reach of clubs far higher up the European pecking order than Udinese.