In hindsight, Cristiano Ronaldo’s record-breaking move to Real Madrid back in 2009 was something of a watershed moment.
It smashed the previous record fee, ushering in a period of eye-watering transfers that dwarf what Florentino Perez spent nine years ago, it reasserted Real Madrid’s position as a European giant with even more European silverware to boot, and it started the decline of Manchester United as a footballing superpower.
CR7 became the focal point of Real Madrid’s team for the best part of the decade, and even their subsequent world-record signing Gareth Bale couldn’t displace him as their star. Add on top of that the growth of the personal brand and the massive sponsorship deals and it’s easy to see why it was such a landmark deal.
[brid autoplay=”true” video=”271323″ player=”12034″ title=”Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus on Football Manager”]
Now the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has moved to Juventus for £99million in another staggering deal at the age of 33. It’s a deal that has wide ramifications as Real Madrid look to replace their superstar and main goal threat, and Juventus look to move on players to accommodate him.
We’ve taken a look at how the biggest transfer ever for a player over 30 affects each of the Premier League’s so-called top six clubs.
City are lucky in that none of their star players are being considered by Real Madrid as a potential replacement for Ronaldo. Pep Guardiola is also not as desperate as some of his rivals to invest heavily in the transfer market after running away with the title last season.
So far they have brought in Riyad Mahrez from Leicester and missed out on Jorginho who ended up at Chelsea, but there are signs that suggest the Champions are still looking to bring another one or two faces in this transfer window.
With Ronaldo’s huge transfer fee and wage package, Juventus may have to offload players to meet UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and City are said to be looking to exploit this with a move for Miralem Pjanic.
The 28-year-old midfielder is valued at £58.5million on Tranfermarkt and his sale would certainly offset some of Juventus’ Ronaldo outlay. Guardiola has spoken of his desire to sign a central midfielder and Pjanic has reportedly spoken of his desire to join either City or Barcelona this summer.
Jose Mourinho hasn’t enjoyed the best of transfer windows this summer and it appears he is growing increasingly frustrated following Ed Woodward’s failure to sign Juventus defender Alex Sandro. The prior concern for the Manchester United boss should be the perennial problem of Paul Pogba who is being linked with a dramatic return to Juventus.
According to Spanish news outlet Marca, Pogba is keen to re-join Juventus so he can play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s no secret that United’s record signing doesn’t have the best relationship with his current manager and he is keen to return to the club where he put in some of his best performances with their new superstar.
Spurs are also in a battle to keep hold of their superstar with Harry Kane being touted as a replacement for Ronaldo at the Bernabeu. The Portuguese star notched up around 50 goals per season at Madrid and there are very few strikers around who can replicate that sort of form, but England’s captain is one of them.
Kane has recently signed a new contract at Spurs which they hope will deter any advances, but Real Madrid have the money and a big space to fill so nothing will be certain until the transfer window slams shut at 17:00 on Thursday 9 August.
The Reds were previously linked with Juventus star Pablo Dybala this summer as Juventus look to recoup funds from the Ronaldo transfer, but these rumours seem to have died down now. It did always seem unlikely with Liverpool already boasting one of the most devastating strike forces in Europe with the combination of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, with little room for another.
However, despite signing a contract this summer, Salah is another name being linked as a potential replacement for Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Madrid would have to come in with a seriously big bid to convince Jurgen Klopp to part with the Premier League top scorer, but it seems that he is definitely someone on their radar.
Mane was another player linked with a move to Madrid, but as he has nowhere near the goal output of Ronaldo, this would have been a surprising move by new manager Julen Lopetegui.
Strangely, it seems the Blues are the club most affected by Ronaldo’s transfer to Real Madrid. Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have long been linked with a move to the Bernabeu and those rumours have hotted up ever since Ronaldo’s departure, with Madrid ready to spend their cash influx.
Hazard is seen as a very likely replacement for Ronaldo and Chelsea will have a real fight on their hands to keep their star. On the flip side, Chelsea could benefit from Juventus having to sell, with Gonzalo Higuain and Daniele Rugani being very strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are in need of a striker, particularly if they sell Alvaro Morata, and Higuain is the kind of world class striker they should be considering, and who will be relegated to Ronaldo’s understudy.
It’s all bubbling beneath the surface at the moment but expect major movements between the three clubs over the coming weeks.
Arsenal appear to be in good shape ahead of the new season, having sorted their transfer business early and not looking likely to lose any of their star players. Apart from Aaron Ramsey, everyone seems very settled and new boss Unai Emery has reinforced the areas of the squad that needed it.
One player they could look to prise from Juventus is Lucas Torreira’s midfield partner for Uruguay, Rodrigo Bentancur. The 21-year-old impressed at the World Cup and Emery was rumoured to be interested in the young star earlier in the window but this appears to have cooled.
Regardless, Arsenal seem settled for once and should be safe from the fallout of the biggest transfer this summer.