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Rumor: Cristiano Ronaldo planning to join MLS in 2018; New York among preferred spots

CR7 to MLS in 2018? Sure. Why not?

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Rumor-monger for the stars, Grant Wahl, is reporting "multiple sources" whispering Cristiano Ronaldo has eyes for MLS.

The plan, per Wahl's sources, is CR7 will allow his current contract with Real Madrid to expire, and then he'll jet off to the USA on a free transfer in 2018 - just after what might be his last World Cup (he will turn 33 in February 2018).

Ronaldo's preferred destinations are, allegedly, LA, Miami or New York. To put that in terms of our current understanding of MLS's expansion plans, that is either LA Galaxy, the soon-to-be LA FC, possibly no-longer-Bronx-based-by-2018 NYC FC, David Beckham's fever dream (aka MLS in Miami), or the New York Red Bulls.

No contest. See you in Harrison in 2018, Cristiano.

A cynic might point out this rumor has been around since January, when it was put on the record by Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes. And rumors linking CR7 to a return to Manchester United have also been gathering strength recently.

Most likely, all the talk about Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid is inspired by something he wants a little bit sooner than 2018. The mixed messages being floated through the press - he wants out now; he's happy to see out his contract and leave on good terms - suggest a negotiation over...something.

We'll find out some time in the next three years, for sure.

In the meantime, celebrate the return of "New York" to the rumor mill. Welcome back, rumor mill! We've missed you.