Cristiano Ronaldo is still expected to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season despite the dismissal of Rafael Benitez earlier this week, according to reports.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner was said to be unhappy with the Spaniard’s attempts to create a more team-orientated style of play at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Benitez’s replacement, Zinedine Zidane, is expected to restore the Portuguese international’s status as team’s main focal point and play him alongside Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in attack, but according to the Daily Telegraph, that is unlikely to dissuade Ronaldo from leaving.
The news will alert Manchester United, who have been repeatedly linked with the player since his move from Old Trafford to the Spanish giants for £80million in 2009, but Paris Saint-Germain remain favourites for his signature.
Ronaldo, who has been troubled with knee injuries and persistently hinted at a move away from Madrid in recent years, turns 31-years-old next month and, according to the report’s sources, insiders at the club expect him to leave.
“Out of Bale and Ronaldo, Ronaldo is the player expected to leave the club. Bale is still seen as the future, whereas Ronaldo’s best years may now be behind him,” the source told the Telegraph.
"PSG are desperate to sign him and would be favourites at the moment, but United will no doubt try.”
Although Bale’s future was thrown into doubt following Benitez’s dismissal on Monday, with widespread reports suggesting that he was ready to bring a three-year stay in Spain to end, the Welshman remains club president Florentino Perez’s key man.
Bale has also been continually linked with a move to Old Trafford and vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s courtship of the former Tottenham Hotspur winger is an open secret. United, however, stand a greater chance of re-signing Ronaldo than capturing the 26-year-old.