Cristiano Ronaldo and the English Premier League club Manchester United
have reached an agreement that will bring Ronaldo back to a side on which he played from 2003 to 2009, the team announced.
The deal will need to be finalized by the transfer-window deadline of Aug. 31.
A transfer in soccer occurs when two clubs agree to move a player from one to another. If the player is under contract, the club trying to secure his rights is usually expected to pay compensation — known as a transfer fee — to the other club.
A large portion of the transfer fee goes to a club owner, but a player, among others, can collect a portion of the fee as well. Specific transfer fees have not yet been agreed upon for Ronaldo, according to ESPN’s report.
Manchester United shares
were up 4.46% at midmorning Friday in the U.S.
Three years ago, when Ronaldo left Real Madrid to play for Juventus, the club paid a $117 million transfer fee. And last year, he made $70 million, according to Forbes.
Juventus, also a publicly traded club, saw its shares up 1.18% after the news that Ronaldo could be transferred as early as Thursday. Juventus’s stock got a boost on news of Ronaldo’s transfer to the club in 2018, but most of those gains have dissipated. Juventus is owned by the Agnellis, a dynastic Italian family who founded Fiat Motor Co.
Ronaldo posted on his Instagram last week that any transfer talk and rumors about his potentially leaving Juventus were “disrespectful.”
Ronaldo is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, the award given annually to the top world footballer.
The possible move for Ronaldo would come in the wake of fellow La Liga legend and longtime rival Lionel Messi’s recent departure from Spain’s FC Barcelona for the deep-pocketed French club Paris Saint-Germain. Brazilian star Neymar Jr. made that same move in 2017 for a record-setting transfer fee of $262 million, while Messi’s transfer was free after attempts to extend his career-long tenure at the Catalan club were vetoed on financial grounds by the Spanish league.
Ronaldo’s transfer fee would likely be lower than Neymar’s despite Ronaldo’s more accomplished career, because Neymar is a younger player.
While the two share a Feb. 5 birthday, Neymar is 29, and Ronaldo is 36. Messi turned 34 in June.
“Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical,” the team said in a statement. “Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”
Ronaldo has earned at least $1 billion during his playing career. Messi is said to have been paid well more than a half-billion euros between 2017 and 2021 alone.