According to the Daily Mail, the Portugal international’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is said to have held talks with the Magpies last month regarding a possible move to St James’ Park, with the likes of Bayern Munich, Napoli, Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea also named.
The 37-year-old is currently the talk of the town following his recent bombshell interview with journalist Piers Morgan, with the 191-cap sensation hitting out at the Red Devils, as well as new manager, Erik ten Hag.
The former Juventus star – who had reportedly been angling for a move over the summer – appears destined to leave the Theatre of Dreams in January following that shock outburst, with recent reports suggesting that his current club are open to a departure.
Having adopted a “wise” and “mature” approach to the transfer market in recent times – in the words of Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville – after avoiding the temptation to make high-profile, glamour signings, PIF could well be in line for their first notable blunder if they are to sanction the signing of Ronaldo.
The one-time Real Madrid icon is undoubtedly a legendary figure in the game and something of a footballing “genius“, as described by Brazilian ace Neymar, with 701 club career goals – plus 117 goals at international level – a marker of the forward’s relentless and ruthless consistency at the elite level for almost two decades.
That being said, however, for all those stellar statistics and the litany of records that the £17.4m-rated superstar has broken, the current version of the United man is arguably not at the level that he once was, with journalist Andy Mitten suggesting that he is now “in decline“.
That has been illustrated by the fact that the 6 foot 2 hotshot has scored just three goals in all competitions so far this season, with two of those having come against Moldovan minnows FC Sheriff in the Europa League.
It would seemingly be a foolish move to sanction the arrival of a player who is not only failing to deliver in the top flight at present, but is also reportedly raking in a hefty £515k-per-week wage.
Equally, as far the Tynesiders are concerned, manager Eddie Howe may deem it unwise to upset the apple cart with a player who has become something of a “problem” in Manchester, as per 90min’s Scott Saunders, particularly having only recently brought in club-record youngster Alexander Isak.
It would seemingly only harm the Swede’s development were Ronaldo to arrive at St James’ Park, while it could also prove a setback for in-form ace, Callum Wilson, with the Englishman having scored six times in just ten league games this season.
With the northeast side already flying high having found themselves in third place heading into the World Cup break, it could be a real destabilising factor if such a dominant and demanding character as the Portuguese were to be signed.
In truth, Howe – nor PIF – are in need of the baggage that comes with Ronaldo, nor the potentially disruptive influence that he could have on the team, with supporters likely hoping that these reported talks don’t lead to a more concrete approach in the New Year.