Ronaldo buys NY home, sparks talk of MLS move

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo runs with the ball during their International Champions Cup against Inter Milan at Tianhe Stadium in China.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo runs with the ball during their International Champions Cup against Inter Milan at Tianhe Stadium in China.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Is Cristiano Ronaldo planning a switch to Major League Soccer - or does he just love real estate owned by Donald Trump?

Whatever the reason, the Portuguese star is going to America, at least for some of the time.

The New York Post reported that the Real Madrid forward had paid US$18.5 million (S$26 million) for a 2,509 sq ft loft in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, the 57th-tallest skyscraper in Manhattan.

The Trump deal was completed on Wednesday and now the gossipmongers are asking: Why?

Reports have long suggested that the 30-year-old is considering moving to MLS when his contract in the Spanish capital expires in 2018.

Sports Illustrated reported that Los Angeles is a likely destination for the Portuguese.

New York is also a contender but will Ronaldo turn out for New York City FC or the Red Bulls?

Speculation is something his team-mate Sergio Ramos knows plenty about.

The Spaniard had been linked with a move to Manchester United all summer. Reports in Spain and England suggested he might be included in a swop deal for the English side's unsettled Spain goalkeeper David de Gea.

But the 29-year-old central defender will be staying at the Bernabeu after yesterday signing an extension with the La Liga giants until 2020.

Local media reported the team captain would earn €10 million (S$15.6 million) a season after tax, making him one of the best-paid members of Real's expensively-assembled squad.

Real are also reportedly poised to sign Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan for a fee of around €30 million.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2015, with the headline 'Ronaldo buys NY home, sparks talk of MLS move'. Print Edition | Subscribe