Austin FC claimed their fourth consecutive win in the MLS and top spot in the Western Conference, defeating cross-state rivals Houston Dynamo 3-1 on Tuesday.

Second-half goals from Maximiliano Urruti and Alexander Ring handed the three points to Josh Wolff's side, who now momentarily sit atop the West on 40 points, a point ahead of Los Angeles FC who have a game in hand.

High-profile signing Hector Herrera was unable to inspire another second-half fightback for the Dynamo in his starting debut, after coming on as a substitute in their 2-2 draw against FC Dallas in Saturday's Texas derby.

With the score locked at 1-1, Urruti broke the tight game open in the 57th minute, finely curling the ball around Steve Clark first time after a quick regain of possession.

Ring secured the win with a lovely team move in the 70th minute, with the midfielder attacking the penalty area to meet Ethan Finlay's cross after Austin played their way out from a goal-kick.

Austin now have the chance to take the Copa Tejas if they defeat the Toros on Saturday, with competition for the trophy coinciding with their introduction to the MLS in 2021.

Wayne Rooney hit out at criticism of his move to the United States, after he was announced as D.C. United's new head coach on Tuesday.

Rooney had previously played for United in 2018 and 2019 before leaving the franchise to join Derby County as a player coach in the Championship.

The 36-year-old kept Derby up after taking over from Phillip Cocu as permanent manager in January 2021 but relegation still loomed, remarkably finishing seven points from safety after a 21-point deduction at the start of last season.

Rooney believes coming back to the MLS to coach is not a backward step, but moreover, that his time at Derby County prepared him for this role.

"I've seen a few articles, certainly back in England, on this being a possible backward step in my managerial career," he said.

"I really find that a bit disrespectful to this league. I feel the experience I've gained at Derby County over the past 18 months has been great for my development as a coach, as a manager.

"To come here back to the MLS, back to D.C. United, was an exciting challenge for me - something which I feel can develop me as a coach."

United face an uphill battle to make the MLS playoffs, sitting nine points from seventh-placed FC Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference, despite two games in hand.

The four-time MLS Cup winners have been without a head coach since April and interim Chad Ashton's tenure reached a nadir last weekend, following a 7-0 defeat to Philadelphia Union.

Ashton will remain in charge until Rooney receives his work visa, but Rooney believes he is more than suited for the task at hand.

"The team need to improve, I think that's obvious for everyone to see," he said. "I really think with my capabilities of developing young players - of course we're working hard to get a few new players in - we can really get this club to successful ways again.

"I'm an ambitious person. One day I want to manage at the top level, and this is part of that process in terms of coming here and trying to develop this club, trying to get success here, but also develop myself as a manager."

D.C. United have confirmed the appointment of Wayne Rooney as the club's new head coach.

It is a swift return to management for Rooney, who left his post at Championship side Derby County last month.

England and Manchester United's record goalscorer is back with the MLS franchise, for whom he played in 2018 and 2019; netting 23 times in 48 games across all competitions.

Although unable to keep Derby in the Championship - largely due to a 21-point deduction at the start of the season after breaching financial regulations - Rooney received widespread praise for his efforts during a difficult campaign at Pride Park.

Now set for his second managerial spell in quick succession, the 36-year-old will replace interim head coach Chad Ashton upon receiving his work visa.

"Wayne is a soccer legend and one of the most exciting and dynamic up-and-coming managers in our sport," said D.C. co-chairmen Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan in a joint statement.

"He's already proven in his young coaching career that he knows how to lead a group through adversity. He has an understanding of our league and what it takes to be successful in Major League Soccer thanks to his two-year stay with us as a player.

"The passion he showed while wearing black and red electrified our city and our club, and we are so excited to welcome him back as our head coach."

Gareth Bale's new Los Angeles FC team-mate Jose Cifuentes has explained why he decided to hand over his squad number to Major League Soccer's latest star import.

Bale signed for LAFC in June after leaving Real Madrid on the expiration of his contract.

The Welsh winger, who turns 33 this week, has signed a one-year deal with the MLS team, though that deal can be extended through to 2024.

With a World Cup campaign with Wales on the horizon in Qatar, Bale has the chance to stay at the top of his game in California, and he will be able to do so while wearing his preferred shirt number – 11.

Bale has worn the number 11 for his country for over a decade, while he also wore it in his last season at Tottenham in 2013-14, and his first seven campaigns with Madrid.

With the number occupied by Erik Lamela when Bale returned to Spurs on loan in 2020, the forward took number nine, while he was given the number 18 last season for Los Blancos.

However, even though Cifuentes was already wearing 11 for LAFC, he was happy to hand it over to Bale.

Writing on his official Instagram account, Cifuentes said: "[Number] 11 has accompanied my career at LAFC from the beginning and although it is special and has an important meaning, I have decided to give it to Gareth, who has used that number much longer than me.

"My interest is to contribute so that my team-mates, the club and the fans feel supported by me and with this gesture I want to demonstrate that.

"Let's stay together because we need each other to achieve the goals."

Cifuentes scored twice in LAFC's last game, a 3-2 derby win over LA Galaxy, with only Carlos Vela and Cristian Arango having managed more MLS goals than the midfielder among his team-mates so far in 2022.

Bale's MLS debut is likely to come against Nashville later this week.

Gareth Bale insisted Major League Soccer is "not a retirement league", and he hopes his move to Los Angeles FC will allow him to stay in contention for Wales at least until Euro 2024.

While his initial deal with LAFC is only a one-year agreement, it could be extended through to 2024, when Wales will be hoping to compete in the European Championship.

Bale left Real Madrid at the end of June after his contract was allowed to expire, with the forward – who was once the most expensive player of all time – enduring a difficult final few years at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His attitude and commitment to Madrid were often called into question by supporters, who routinely voiced their frustration towards him in recent years.

But Bale has continued to be worshipped by Wales supporters, and he more than played his part in helping them secure qualification to the World Cup for the first time since 1958 earlier this year.

Keeping himself fit ahead of Qatar 2022 is undoubtedly a key reason for the move to MLS, although Bale was eager to stress how he sees the potential for a long-term future in the United States.

While MLS has garnered a reputation for being a league where high-profile European players go to retire, Bale is adamant that is no longer the case.

"Like I said, this is a league that's really grown, that's come a long way in the last 10 years," he told reporters at his official presentation on Monday.

"Everyone's striving to improve the league, the players who come over see that as well. I don't think anyone sees it now as a retirement league, it's really a league that's physical, demanding; the weather changes are difficult, the travel is difficult.

"But it's exciting, and to play football in front of fans like these is what you play football for."

Bale's new club were only founded in 2014, debuting in MLS in 2018, but have since gone on to make a real impression on the sport in North America, even reaching the final of the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League.

Many were surprised by Bale's decision to head for the States given he reportedly had offers from English clubs and boyhood team Cardiff City, but he is convinced the European perception of MLS is outdated.

"I've watched MLS for a long time," he said. "Obviously the time difference makes it difficult, but whenever I could watch I'd try to catch it on the TV.

"The standard is really increasing, it's a lot better than people in Europe really think.

"The quality is improving, the league is improving, the stadiums are improving, the teams are improving.

"It's a league really on the rise. Yes, it's a new club, but it feels like it's been here forever. The job Larry [Freedman] and John [Thorrington, co-presidents] and rest of the team here have done to create such an amazing fanbase so quickly is remarkable.

"It's testament to how well the club is run, and I'm happy to be a part of it.

"To have my first training session today was amazing, the first step in hopefully a long journey."

Finding players of a similar profile to Robert Lewandowski is a difficult enough task, let alone trying to actually replace him.

That is the dilemma Bayern Munich find themselves in with the wantaway striker, however.

But the reigning Bundesliga champions might have identified the player who is closest in skill-set to Lewandowski, should he get his wish and leave for pastures new.

 

TOP STORY – KANE BAYERN'S TOP TARGET

Bayern have identified Harry Kane as the successor to Lewandowski, according to Kicker.

Kane's contract with Tottenham expires in 2024 and the 28-year-old would command a significant transfer fee, but one that would be reportedly attainable for Bayern in the event Lewandowski leaves.

According to the report, Lewandowski hopes Bayern will accept Barcelona's offer for him by Tuesday.

He is set to return for the commencement of pre-season training this week, but the German club seem to be preparing for the 33-year-old's departure. They have already brought in Sadio Mane from Liverpool.

ROUND-UP

Barcelona believe they will be able to sign Bernardo Silva from Manchester City, Mundo Deportivo claim.

– Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to Stamford Bridge this off-season, the Daily Mail reports.

– Juventus are looking to use the funds from Matthijs de Ligt's sale to pay for Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, per Tuttosport

– Arsenal are in talks to sign Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo after submitting an initial bid, The Express reports.

– Wayne Rooney is set to return to D.C. United to take over as the team's head coach, according to The Athletic.

 

D.C. United will appoint Wayne Rooney as their new head coach, according to reports.

Rooney left Championship club Derby County in June, having overseen a difficult period for the club during his first job as a manager.

Having kept Derby up on the final day of the 2020-21 campaign, Rooney was unable to repeat that feat in the 2021-22 season, in large part due to a 21-point penalty for financial mismanagement by their ownership.

He was the subject of interest from his old club Everton in January, but declined the opportunity to be interviewed for a role subsequently filled by Frank Lampard.

Rooney is now set to take over at Major League Soccer side D.C., where he played in 2018 and 2019 before returning to England to join Derby.

The Athletic's Pablo Iglesias Maurer reported on Sunday that terms between D.C. and Rooney – England and Manchester United's record goalscorer – had been agreed.

Rooney scored 25 goals in all competitions for D.C. after joining from Everton in 2018. He will replace interim coach Chad Ashton, who last weekend apologised for an "embarrassing" 7-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union.

Ashton has been in charge of D.C. since April following Hernan Losada's departure. They sit 13th in the Eastern Conference with just five wins from 17 games in 2022.

High-profile debutant Hector Herrera led an inspired fightback for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, with his side equalising twice to earn a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

After coming from behind and scoring an injury-time winner last time out in the Texas derby, the Toros hit the lead relatively early via captain Matt Hedges in the 27th minute.

Somewhat overshadowing the derby, Mexico international and recent high-profile signing Hector Herrera made his debut for the Dynamo, and it transformed the match.

Herrera moved to his natural position deeper in midfield upon his introduction, and his quick thinking at the dead ball allowed for Thorleifur Ulfarsson's equaliser in the 69th minute.

Jesus Ferreira scored in the 93rd minute for what appeared to be a winner for Dallas, but Teenage Hadebe scored a second equaliser for the Dynamo in the 111th minute, in what was a heated second half.

The Toros have not won in the MLS since May, bringing the LA Galaxy, Minnesota United and Nashville in contention for a home playoff in the Western Conference, despite Real Salt Lake's 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids.

Austin FC moved to second spot in the West, meanwhile, earning a 3-0 win over Atlanta United. Sebastian Driussi came off the bench to round out the scoring after a goal and assist from Ethan Finlay in the opening 20 minutes, setting up Felipe Martins.

Portland Timbers were 3-0 winners over the Seattle Sounders, while Charlotte defeated Nashville 4-1. In other inter-conference play, Toronto FC played out a 2-2 draw with the SJ Earthquakes while Sporting KC defeated CF Montreal 2-1. 

New York RB kept top spot in the Eastern Conference, but could only manage a 1-1 draw against a nine-man Cincinnati, following second-half dismissals for Allan Cruz and Luciano Acosta. Elsewhere in the East, Derrick Etienne scored a double off the bench to give Columbus Crew a 3-2 victory.

New York City moved to within a point of their cross-town rivals and Philadelphia Union, with a Valentin Castellanos brace helping them to a 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.

In Saturday's final game, a Damion Lowe own-goal in the 92nd minute handed Orlando City the three points, defeating Inter Miami 1-0..

 

Gareth Bale hailed the "incredible reception" he received after being presented to the Los Angeles FC fans for the first time since his move to the MLS leaders.

The former Real Madrid and Tottenham forward recently joined the MLS franchise on a one-year deal, which could be extended through to 2024, following his departure from Los Blancos.

The Wales international will be hoping for plenty of game time ahead of the World Cup later this year, and what will be the Dragons' first appearance at the finals since 1958.

Bale arrived in California on Friday and received a rapturous reception at the Banc of California Stadium when he was paraded to the supporters ahead of his new side's 'El Trafico' derby against rivals LA Galaxy.

LAFC ran out 3-2 winners and the 32-year-old is excited by the ongoing project at the franchise formed back in 2014.

 

"What an incredible reception I had when I came in," he told ESPN.

"The best prep [for the World Cup] is to play games.

"I want to come here. I want to play games and make my stamp and do as best I can to try and help LAFC win a trophy.

"And I can help with the youngsters because it's a very young team here, give them advice, seeing what I do in terms of professional standard and try to help them.

"The league is a growing league. It was an exciting opportunity I felt was right for me and my family.

"It's very new, but it's something that's really glamorous. It's just a very attractive club."

Los Angeles FC prevailed in a five-goal thriller in their 'El Trafico' derby against Los Angeles Galaxy, holding on for a 3-2 win.

In a clash between two of the Western Conference's top-four sides, league-leading LAFC struck first as Jose Cifuentes broke the deadlock 17 minutes in with a header from the edge of the six-yard box.

It would be the only goal of the opening half, before the scoring barrage began with Galaxy's equaliser through Samuel Grandsir at the 55-minute mark.

Cifuentes again found himself on the end of a dangerous cross in the 70th minute, heading home his second goal, before teammate Cristian Arango made it 3-1 just two minutes later with his right-foot hit from outside the box.

Rayan Raveloson set up a thrilling finish when he trimmed the margin back to 3-2 in the 81st minute, heading home Victor Vazquez's cross, and Raveloson almost equalised with a chance in the 87th minute, but he could not find the back of the net.

According to expected goal data, Raveloson's miss in the 87th minute was the best chance of the entire game for either side (0.54 expected goals).

Meanwhile, it was one-way traffic at Philadelphia's Subaru Park as the Philadelphia Union hammered DC United 7-0.

Both Alejandro Bedoya and Julian Carranza netted braces in the first 37 minutes, before Mikael Uhre made it 5-0 heading into the half-time break.

Uhre was the Union's third player to bag his second goal when he made it 6-0 in the 59th minute, and after Carranza missed a golden opportunity for a hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 69th minute, he made it up for it with his third goal of the contest just three minutes later.

Minnesota United showed supreme finishing in Friday's last game, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 despite neither side finishing with an expected goal.

Minnesota finished up on the expected goal count 0.91 to 0.74, but a late barrage saw them storm home after falling behind 1-0 in the 66th minute from substitute Lucas Cavallini's goal.

Their response was sharp, equalising five minutes later through Kemar Lawrence's left-foot hit from a tight angle, before Luis Amarilla put Minnesota ahead 2-1 with his long-range blast following a costly turnover in midfield.

Franco Fragapane's 88th-minute sealer ensured there would be no late twists as Minnesota held on for the result.

Inter Miami have confirmed the signing of former Major League Soccer MVP Alejandro Pozuelo from Toronto FC.

Pozuelo, crowned MLS' best player in 2020 in the second of a three-and-a-half-season stay with Toronto, will occupy an International Roster slot and a Designated Player slot for Inter.

Phil Neville's side will pay $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) to Toronto across two years for the signing of Pozuelo, which is subject to the Spaniard receiving a P-1 Visa.

Toronto will also retain a sell-on percentage in the event of a future transfer, while Inter will send additional conditional GAM if Pozuelo meets certain performance-based incentives.

"We're thrilled to be able to welcome a player of Alejandro's calibre," Inter sporting director Chris Henderson said. 

"He has proven himself to be one of the brightest talents in the league and we are confident that will continue here in South Florida.

"We were looking to add a decisive, creative attacking player and we feel he fits the profile."

Prior to joining Toronto, where he scored 30 goals and assisted 34 in 100 appearances across all competitions, Pozuelo played for Real Betis, Swansea City, Rayo Vallecano and Genk.

As well as winning the MVP award two years ago, the 30-year-old was also twice named in the MLS Team of the Season.

"We believe Alejandro will fit right in with our group," head coach Neville said. "He's a player of tremendous quality that we feel can be a real game changer for us.

"We can't wait to integrate him into the squad and are looking forward to seeing him on the pitch in Inter Miami colours."

Pozuelo's departure from Toronto comes amid widespread speculation that the Canadian club are closing in on a move for former Juventus midfielder Federico Bernardeschi.

Austin FC held on for a hard-fought 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids away from home, surviving the final 15 minutes with 10 men red card.

The win required a major comeback after Lalas Abubakar put the Rapids ahead in the 19th minute and the hosts then doubled their advantage three minutes later with a Jonathan Lewis strike.

Austin pegged one back in the 28th minute when Ethan Finlay struck from just inside the area, and the sides went in all square at 2-2 when Sebastian Driussi equalised in first-half stoppage time.

The visitors thought they had completed their comeback in the 52nd minute, only for Maximiliano Urruti's goal to be ruled out, but that decision merely delayed the celebrations as Urriti scored again seven minutes later.

The turnaround continued a remarkable trend for Austin, who have now won two and drawn two of the five games in which they have trailed my multiple goals this season, losing just once.

They held out this time despite Kipp Keller's dismissal for a second yellow card in the 75th minute, after which Colorado dominated 81.4 per cent of the possession and hit the post through Michael Barrios but could not find an equaliser.

Elsewhere, the LA Galaxy pummelled CF Montreal 4-0 in an effective counter-attacking display.

Javier Hernandez opened the scoring for the Galaxy, Dejan Jovelic doubled the lead from the penalty spot, and Rayan Raveloson grabbed a second-half brace to complete the rout.

Inter Miami left it late to draw with FC Dallas, netting an 88th-minute equaliser through substitute Leonardo Campana, and there was also late drama in DC United's highly entertaining 5-3 win at Orlando City.

A hat-trick from Taxiarchis Fountas had DC 3-0 up early in the second half, yet an Orlando recovery meant Alexandre Pato's penalty cut that lead to 4-3 with 10 minutes to play.

Rather than collapse, though, United made sure of victory with a 96th-minute goal from Nigel Robertha.

New York RB moved to top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, defeating Sporting KC 1-0 on Sunday.

Gerhard Stuber's side looked to absorb pressure for the majority of the match and captain Aaron Long put them ahead in the 53rd minute, heading in at the back post after a finely worked corner routine.

Choice became necessity after a VAR review that forced Sean Nealis off in the 73rd minute, but they were able to hold out against a Sporting KC that failed to penetrate in possession.

The win makes for the first time NYRB have managed consecutive wins in the MLS since April, also putting them on 32 points, now two points clear of Philadelphia Union.

The Union were in a similarly dour contest, generating only two shots in the penalty area from open play in a goal-less draw away to Columbus Crew.

The Crew had an opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute, only for Andre Blake to save Pedro Santos' penalty.

New Yoirk City are a further point back on 29 points, after they played out a 2-2 draw at home to Atlanta United, while the New England Revolution and Cincinnati also managed a 2-2 draw.

In the Western Conference meanwhile, Real Salt Lake critically slipped up in a chance to make up ground following LAFC's loss on Saturday, going down 3-2 to Minnesota United.

RSL were down 3-0 at one stage until Jefferson Savarino inspired a dramatic late fightback, scoring and assisting for substitute Anderson Julio within a five-minute span.

It was not enough however, with LAFC maintaining a five-point gap to second-placed Austin FC.

Elsewhere in the West, Nashville and Portland Timbers played out a 2-2 draw, while Houston Dynamo lost 2-1 at home to Charlotte FC.

In Sunday's final game, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 via Benjamin Kikanovic's brace, with his first coming after the Quakes extraordinarily hit the frame of the goal twice in the same passage.

The Seattle Sounders moved to fourth spot in the Western Conference in the MLS, defeating Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday.

With Raul Ruidiaz still unavailable due to a hamstring injury, Dylan Teves's 39th-minute goal opened the scoring for the Sounders in his first MLS start, before Fredy Montero scored in the 60th minute.

Teves was left with a relatively simple finish to make it 1-0, tapping in from close range after some fine individual work from Leo Chu.

Brian Schmetzer's side did not face much trouble following Teves' opener, with Montero's goal sealing a sixth MLS win from ten games since they claimed the CONCACAF Champions League in May.

Meanwhile in the West, Los Angeles FC opened the door for Austin FC and Real Salt Lake, losing 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Andres Cubas kept the Whitecaps within touching distance of the playoff spots, coolly finishing from just outside the penalty area in the 89th minute after a chaotic passage of play.

LAFC still hold respective five and seven-point gaps to Austin and Salt Lake atop the Western Conference, with the latter two still to play on Sunday and Monday.

Cristiano Ronaldo is poised to become the biggest news of the transfer window, with reports stating he is keen on leaving Manchester United to continue playing in the Champions League.

The Portuguese superstar has played in Europe's elite competition for 19 consecutive seasons since first moving to United from Sporting CP in 2003 and stands as the highest-ever scorer in the tournament with 140 goals.

However, United's sixth-placed finish in the Premier League last season means that Erik ten Hag takes over a side who are set for Europa League football – and it is now reported that Ronaldo is pushing for an exit.

If he does get his wish, there are only a few likely destinations for the 37-year-old and Stats Perform has assessed some of them.

Napoli

A return to Serie A has been touted for Ronaldo, with The Athletic naming Napoli as potential suitors – they have a void in their team following the exit of Lorenzo Insigne.

In Ronaldo's three years in Italy with Juventus, no player scored more Serie A goals than his tally of 81 and, despite spending the past year with Manchester United, only Ciro Immobile has scored more Serie A goals since 2018.

Napoli, having finished third in Serie A last year and nine points ahead of Juventus, would match Ronaldo's desire to play Champions League football – although the club's finances and Ronaldo's wage demands may prove to be restrictive.

 

Chelsea

Fresh from Todd Boehly's takeover, Chelsea are looking to rejuvenate the squad and finances do not appear to be a problem, given they have allowed Romelu Lukaku to return to Inter on loan just a year after spending a club-record £97.5million on the Belgium forward.

Interestingly enough, it has been reported that Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, has already met with the new Chelsea owner this summer and the Blues are in need of a striker having lost Lukaku, with Timo Werner performing better from a deeper role.

Whether Ronaldo would accept a move to a Premier League rival, given his status at Old Trafford, is the biggest question regarding any hopes the Blues may have in signing the veteran forward and, if he is keen, United would likely demand a significant return on the investment they paid last year.

Chelsea also have interest in Raheem Sterling and Leeds United attacker Raphinha, but Ronaldo would be a statement of intent for the new owner.

Sporting CP

With a United homecoming already under his belt, could Sporting secure a sensational return of their own and bring Ronaldo back to where it all began? It's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility.

Second in Primeira Liga last season, Sporting have the Champions League football that Ronaldo craves and he is already a great at the club – though his success has come in his years since he left his home country in 2003.

Ronaldo had just a single season in the senior squad with Sporting before he moved to United, so he may feel he has unfinished business – and it is a side that can definitely compete, having ended a 20-year barren spell without a league title in the 2020-21 season.

 

Bayern Munich

Ronaldo has shone in three of Europe's top-five leagues, the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, with only the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 left standing – and Bayern have been touted as potential suitors, though Paris Saint-Germain are not said to be interest (sorry, no link up with Lionel Messi just yet, sports fans).

With Robert Lewandowski's future at the Allianz Arena continuing to be shrouded in speculation, it may fall into place for the Poland international to get what he wants, a move to Barcelona, and for Bayern to land Ronaldo as his replacement.

In the past five years, no player has scored more league goals than Lewandowski (193) but Ronaldo, along with the addition of Sadio Mane, should be able to fill any goalscoring void that would be left in the event of a departure.

Real Madrid

Another possible return destination... could Ronaldo wind back up in the Spanish capital?

The Champions League winners are hardly in need of another superstar forward, given the incredible form of Karim Benzema, but bringing Ronaldo back to the club where he scored 450 goals would surely appeal to president Florentino Perez? 

Madrid missed out on Kylian Mbappe, much to their frustration, and having Ronaldo in their side would plug a gap, so to speak, until the PSG forward is further into the new, three-year contract he signed with the French club in May.

MLS

Champions League football has been documented as the reason for Ronaldo's desire to leave but, if such offers are not forthcoming, could a move to MLS be on the cards? 

Financial rules and designated player spots would make a switch complicated, with there only being a handful of teams likely to be able to make a move possible – likely to be those in Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

With the 2026 World Cup taking place in North America, bringing Ronaldo to MLS would raise the profile of the league further – and would undoubtedly be the biggest acquisition for the league since David Beckham's move to LA Galaxy in 2007.

That move marked the start of a new era of soccer in the US and has evolved considerably since, though Ronaldo's arrival would send things to a completely new level.

It has been reported that United do not wish to sell Ronaldo, but with his contract being up next year, could a switch to North America be likely? 

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