With Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly set to leave Real Madrid after being accused of tax fraud, a football finance expert has worked out which Premier League teams could, in theory, afford the superstar this summer, and shockingly, Arsenal’s one of them.

  • Ronaldo said to want move away from Real Madrid
  • Broke club record for goals scored after stunning season
  • Chelsea, Arsenal and both Manchester clubs said to be able to afford 32-year-old

Ronaldo has reportedly asked Real Madrid if he can leave following accusations of tax fraud. After eight years in La Liga and a whopping 406 goals in 394 appearances, the 32-year-old will understandably cost his next club a pretty penny. He’s one of the best players not just in the world currently, but ever.

In fact, reports claim that Real have hung a £350m price tag around his neck, which is unthinkable money, even for the Chinese Super League.

Saying this, football finance expert, Rob Wilson, a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, claims that Arsenal, as well as three other Premier League clubs could afford the striker.

“Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Juventus would have the financial resources to put together a competitive offer within the realms of Financial Fair Play rules,” Wilson told BBC Sport.

“The other side of the question would be whether they would want to commit so much on one player.

“It would be interesting to see what kind of fee Madrid would demand. I would estimate something in the region of £100-120m.

“To put that into a wider context, that’s like a Premier League club spending the entirety of its TV deal money on one player. Plus of course, there’s the wages on top of that.

“Another point to bear in mind is that this would not be a ‘Galactico’ move, where the value of commercial endorsements and merchandise sales would help a club recoup money spent on the transfer fee.

“Ronaldo comes surrounded by a group of very well-informed advisors, who already have all various commercial deals in place.

“For a potential buyer like Manchester United, they might look to leverage something from the story of his return to the club, somehow make that commercially attractive, but we are scratching around on the margins really.

“Where you can start to make leverage on players is when they are younger – which is why a player like 18-year-old Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe would be a far more attractive proposition.

“A buying club knows they can make an awful lot back.”