La Liga giants Atletico Madrid have stepped up their pursuit of Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to The Times, Atletico Madrid have stepped up their pursuit of Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese is said to be eager on leaving the Old Trafford outfit this summer after the side failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The 37-year-old former Real Madrid forward returned to Manchester United in a blockbuster move from Juventus last summer. He started off well, as did the club, but things took a turn for the worse as then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and replaced by interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Ronaldo eventually finished with 24 goals across competitions, retaining his reputation as among the best European goalscorers but couldn’t lead United to a top-four finish in the English top-flight.

The failure to qualify for the Champions League led to the Portuguese trying to force an exit. His agent Jorge Mendes tried to look for clubs that could offer Ronaldo Champions League football and the chance to lead the side’s attacking line.

Off to Atletico? (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Off to Atletico? (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

While Chelsea reportedly passed on the opportunity to sign him, Atletico Madrid have emerged as potential suitors with the Rojiblancos reportedly exploring the options to get him on board in the ongoing window.

Some reports claim Manchester United are ready to let the Portuguese leave but want to trigger the option to extend his two-year contract by another season. The Red Devils want to see Ronaldo join another European giant on a year-long loan and return when the club, hopefully, have achieved Champions League status for the 2023/24 season.

Atletico are said to be keen on getting the forward on board and are ready to part ways with Antoine Griezmann to make space in the squad and wage bill to accommodate Ronaldo. The Frenchman joined Los Rojiblancos on a two-year loan deal from Barcelona with an obligation to purchase. But they are now considering selling him to bring in Ronaldo.

It remains to be seen whether the Portuguese talisman, who is yet to join the club on their pre-season training, stays at Old Trafford beyond the season or not.

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