Cristiano Ronaldo buys NYC loft for $18.5 million

Written By Bob Hille
(Getty Images)

If Cristiano Ronaldo has bought a place to live in New York City, does that mean he'll play there, too — on the pitch, that is?

The Real Madrid star, 30, closed last week on 2,509 square foot loft on Fifth Avenue, paying $18.5 million for the Trump Tower apartment, the New York Post reported.

MORE: World's highest-paid athletes | Ronaldo's career in photos

Ronaldo has been linked to moving to Major League Soccer when his Real contract expires in 2018. The home purchase adds fuel to the speculation that he could join international stars Frank Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo with New York City FC.

The New Jersey-based Red Bulls also could be a possibility, although reported that Los Angeles — either the Galaxy or LAFC — is the Portuguese star's preferred destination.

No matter, the purchase of the property from Italian real-estate mogul Alessandro Proto, a partner of Donald Trump's, has soccer's rumor mill turning.

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