Madrid, 30 July 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Atletico Madrid will not be signing Cristiano Ronaldo and that decision is final, according to club president Enrique Cerezo.
Speaking at the presentation of defender Nahuel Molina on Friday, Cerezo said the newly recruited Argentina international was “the last piece” of the jigsaw.
That means Diego Simeone’s squad is complete as far as Cerezo is concerned.
Molina has joined from Udinese, and Atletico have also brought in the likes of Samuel Lino and Axel Witsel to plump up their ranks after Luis Suarez, Sime Vrsaljko and Hector Herrera moved on.
“With this signing…we have managed to fit the last piece we were looking for,” said Cerezo.
“I repeat, for the journalists, with this signing we have managed to fit the last piece we were looking for.”
The emphasis spoke of how Cerezo wants to move on from the links to Ronaldo, after a group of Atletico supporters declared their steadfast opposition to his potential arrival.
Cerezo had already said any deal to bring Ronaldo to Atletico from Manchester United was “practically impossible.”
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who is Real Madrid’s all-time record scorer, appears to be set on leaving United after the Red Devils failed to qualify for the 2022-23 Champions League.
It has been reported that Sporting, where Ronaldo launched his career, could be a possible destination for the 37-year-old, who scored 24 goals across all competitions for United last season.
German champions Bayern Munich have ruled themselves out of contention.
Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes were at United’s training ground on Tuesday for talks over his future.
Atletico will face United in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, with Ronaldo unlikely to play any part.