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Atletico Madrid fans have launched a furious protest on social media against the possible signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United this summer.
Ronaldo is keen to depart Old Trafford less than 12 months after sealing his return for a second stint in the Premier League. It is understood the Portuguese superstar wants to play for a club in the Champions League, with his 18 Premier League goals only enough to help the struggling Red Devils finish a disappointing sixth and qualify for the Europa League.
The 37-year-old has been offered to several of Europe's top clubs but the striker's options are wearing thin now that Chelsea, Bayern Munich and PSG have all pulled out of the running. His £475,000-a-week wages have proved to be a stumbling block so far, although Ronaldo is reportedly willing to cut his demands by 30 per cent.
READ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo wants Atletico Madrid transfer for three reasons amid Man Utd unrest
His only realistic options remaining are a loan move to his boyhood club Sporting Lisbon or a high-profile permanent transfer to Atletico Madrid. The Rojiblancos are yet to declare their intentions regarding their interest in Ronaldo, but The Sunday Times report the United star is keen to link up with Diego Simeone's side.
Such a move would have at one point in his career seemed impossible, given Ronaldo's historic nine-year spell with city rivals Real Madrid, where he scored 450 goals. The forward has helped deny Atletico the Champions League on two occasions in 2014 and 2016, and it seems the wounds are still open as far as Atletico's fanbase is concerned.
A number of supporters venting their anger on social media that they do not want Ronaldo at their club. Using the hashtag 'Contra CR7', which translates to "against CR7", on Twitter, hundreds of Atletico fans declared their opposition to Ronaldo's proposed arrival — and even threatened to tear up their club membership.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Should Cristiano Ronaldo stay at Manchester United for another season? Comment below.
Miguel Parraga tweeted: "If this one [Ronaldo) comes to my Atleti], I will cancel my two subscriptions."
Arturo Carrasco wrote: "Just to think that such a person wears the shirt of Atletico stirs my guts. It goes against everything it means to be at Atleti."
One Twitter user called German said of Ronaldo: "He is in decline and does not guarantee you titles. He is egocentric, he only thinks about his numbers."
Another user Raul agreed, adding: "It's simple. If Atleti still has its values it will not try to sign CR7, who represents the opposite of the values of @Atleti. If he does, the club will have lost its identity of almost 120 years."
But one Atletico fan named Mario was critical of those against Ronaldo's potential move: "I am from Atletico Madrid and many are complaining that CR7 does not come to Atletico," he wrote.
"Me and others would not care if CR7 came, the people who criticise and create a hashtag so that they do not come, are people who hate the team and want to see us lose."
Any move may hinge on whether United decide to sell or retain Ronaldo’s services for the final year of his contract. But it does not appear likely that he will sit on the bench for a season on his £475,000 wages, meaning Ronaldo may need to prepare for a hostile reception if he heads to the Metropolitano.
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- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Manchester United FC
- Premier League
- Atletico Madrid FC
- La Liga
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