Ronaldo appeals to Napoli coach Spalletti but deadline-beating deal would be 'difficult'

·2-min read

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti would love to see Cristiano Ronaldo move to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

He doubts it will happen before the transfer deadline on Thursday, but Spalletti made it clear he believes Ronaldo could make a big impact on his team.

Ronaldo is no stranger to Serie A after spending three seasons at Juventus, and Napoli have been linked with a move for the 37-year-old in recent days.

He continues to be linked with an exit after starting just once this season under new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, having joined the Red Devils when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was boss 12 months ago.

Dutchman Ten Hag said on Saturday, after Ronaldo played as a substitute in the 1-0 win at Southampton: "We want him to stay."

There is time for movement, however, before the exit door closes, with Ronaldo reportedly keen to play Champions League football in the new season, which is something United cannot offer.

Talk of a swap deal involving Napoli's Victor Osimhen was brushed aside by Osimhen's agent this week, with Roberto Calenda writing on Twitter: "No negotiations in progress, no exchanges."

Now Spalletti has offered his personal view on Ronaldo, saying on Saturday: "Anyone would like to coach him, but as Osimhen's agent said there is no negotiation. [Napoli owner Aurelio] De Laurentiis also confirmed this."

With the window closing, Spalletti added: "I see it as difficult."

Ronaldo has had little to say about his future. He has been tipped for moves to the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Sporting CP and Atletico Madrid in recent weeks, but nothing has materialised. Last season, he was United's 24-goal leading scorer across all competitions.

Spalletti is one of the first significant figures to openly enthuse about the prospect of signing the veteran former Real Madrid forward during this twilight phase of his rightly lauded career.

He sees no problem with integrating Ronaldo, should he ever become available to Napoli.

"We are talking about someone who has won more championships, scored more goals, has the quality to be anywhere on the pitch," said Spalletti, quoted by Corriere dello Sport, ahead of his team's match at Fiorentina on Sunday.

"He is someone who resolves things on his own. The problem would not exist in one way or another."