That has brought fresh speculation that, even at the advanced age of 33, he could at long last rejoin former club Manchester United, nine years after departing Old Trafford.
Rather than a story from notorious Spanish gossip outlets Don Balon or Diario Gol, it is the Manchester Evening News and their sources reporting on Ronaldo's apparent desire to move.
The Portuguese icon is said to be targeting a move somewhere in Europe over China. Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with an approach in recent weeks, but United are named as the 'only club' with the finances able to make it happen.
The problem with this latest Ronaldo rumour, as with all rumours linking him to United over the years, is that there may still be ulterior motives at play.
Ever since Neymar joined PSG last summer and Lionel Messi signed a new contract at Barcelona in November, Ronaldo is widely believed to have been pining for a new deal himself so that he returns to the status of being the highest paid player in the world.
Crucially, Real have been unwilling to play ball, even after the end of the season, and it cannot be ruled out his alleged sadness and desire to quit the club have been deliberately leaked to the press by his camp in an attempt to scare Los Blancos into offering an improved contract.
United's eagerness to re-sign Ronaldo, seemingly driven by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, has certainly been used in that way before as the last time the former Old Trafford favourite was seriously linked with a return, it was soon followed by news of a fresh Real deal.
There was a story last week, one that did originate from the murky world of Spanish gossip, suggesting that Real would ask United for Romelu Lukaku in the event that Ronaldo goes. Even Diario Gol noted that was something the Premier League side were not prepared to do.