Man Utd: Gary Neville makes Cristiano Ronaldo prediction | Football

Cristiano Ronaldo captained Portugal to a narrow win over Ghana in their World Cup opener (Photo: Getty)

Gary Neville reckons that Cristiano Ronaldo will sign for a Champions League club following his Manchester United exit.

Ronaldo’s departure from Old Trafford was confirmed last week, when United terminated his contract following the explosive interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.

In the interview, Ronaldo heavily criticised the club, it’s owners, manager Erik ten Hag, and some of his current and former teammates including Neville.

Now a free agent, the 37-year-old will be looking to sign for a new club as soon as Portugal’s involvement at the Qatar World Cup is over.

Which club that will be remains unclear however, with Betfair currently listing Chelsea as the favourites, the forward having been heavily linked with Stamford Bridge back in the summer.

Any Saudi Arabian team and Ronaldo’s boyhood club Sporting Lisbon are also among the teams leading the race for his signature.

But Neville believes the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will aim to sign for a club in the Champions League – albeit on a short-term contract.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gary Neville played together at Man Utd from 2003 to 2009 (Photo: Getty)

‘I think Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be looking for a top club on a four-month or five-month contract where he can go in and do a brilliant cameo role at the very elite of European football,’ the former United captain told Sky Sports.

‘That’s what I think his priority would be – to stay in the Champions League, to stay at the very top and prove that what happened at Manchester United wasn’t right.

‘I think he’s got four or five great months in him somewhere where he’ll go in and score 15 or 20 goals in that period. Everybody in Manchester will say, “why didn’t we keep him?”, and people in the Premier League will as well.

‘But he’s got that in him and I would say that would be his priority. I think he’ll get to the end of the season and then think about the next two years and what his last football project might look like.

‘Is it in the US? Is it in the Middle East? Is it somewhere else in Europe where he’s not played before?

‘I hope he does really well wherever he goes. I didn’t work out in Manchester in the end, but it was the right thing for the club to do in breaking ties and it was the right thing for Cristiano to do.’

Ronaldo’s desire to leave United began at the end of last season when the Red Devils failed to qualify for the Champions League, but if it’s UCL football that he wants then his current options are limited to just 16 teams – though only a handful of them will be interested in signing him.

In his interview, the forward also confirmed that he turned down the chance to join an unnamed team in Saudi Arabia over the summer, in a deal worth a reported €350million (£306m).

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