As things stand, the rumour is emerging from Cristiano’s camp rather than from the offices of the Wanda Metropolitano. The Portuguese is desperate to leave United and join a club that can offer him Champions League – not Europa League – football.
The 37-year-old’s ambition is to win a sixth European Cup and draw level with Paco Gento – he’s won one with United, in 2008, and four with Real Madrid between 2014 and 2018. Atletico are regulars in the competition and will partake in 2022/23.
The move does fit in some ways. Cristiano would relish the chance to compete with Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski in the Spanish goalscoring charts and knows the city of Madrid after his nine-year spell there. But as things stand it’s not viable.