The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is set to be on the receiving end of an Australian charm offensive as A-League boss Danny Townsend has confirmed an offer to bring the player Down Under has been lodged with his agent, Jorge Mendes, should Ronaldo and Manchester United part ways.
Ronaldo’s second spell at United appears over after the forward decided to speak out against the club in an interview with Piers Morgan, accusing United of “betrayal”, insisting he will never respect manager Erik ten Hag, and insulting a number of past players.
In Pictures | Cristiano Ronaldo
The 37-year-old is currently preparing for the World Cup with Portugal, but could be heading to Australia come the New Year if Townsend gets his way.
"(Ronaldo) said he wasn't getting any love and respect at Manchester United but we'll certainly give him plenty of love and respect in Australia," Townsend said in comments published by News Corp.
"We might not be able to compete financially with other offers but we can compete in other ways."
Ronaldo would be joining former United and Portugal team-mate Nani, who joined A-League club Melbourne Victory this season.
"Obviously it's a long shot but we've certainly got a compelling proposition for him here in Australia to consider," Townsend told local radio station SportsFM earlier on Thursday.
Memphis Depay finished off a superb move to open the scoring in the 10th minute and Daley Blind made it two at Khalifa International Stadium just before half-time. The US threatened a comeback when Haji Wright pulled one back in the 76th minute but Denzel Dumfries ensured it was the Dutch that progressed to the last eight with their third five minutes later. Louis Van Gaal named an unchanged side from the one that beat Qatar in their final group match while Walker Zimmerman and Jesus Ferreira came in for the US.
England’s eccentricities paid off as they finished day four with a chance of victory in the first Test, needing eight Pakistan wickets tomorrow to force what would be an unlikely result. The day started with Will Jacks claiming the final three Pakistan wickets to finish with figures of 6-161. In doing so, Jacks became the first spinner to take a six-fer on debut for England since 1993. With a first-innings lead of 78, England forced the issue in order to set up a declaration and despite losing Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope early (the former for a golden duck) England batted with the flair and power that they are becoming so synonymous with.
Free-scoring England extended their unbeaten record against African teams with a 3-0 victory over Senegal on which included a first goal at this World Cup from captain Harry Kane as they set up a quarter-final clash with holders France. England had initially looked sluggish against Senegal’s pacy forwards, in the two nations’ first ever encounter, with a wonderful one-handed save by Jordan Pickford stopping Boulaye Dia from giving the African side a shock lead.
After beating Germany in the team's opener, Japan worked their way into the Round of 16 of the World Cup on Thursday by defeating Spain 2-1 – the same margin by which they pipped the four-time world champions.