Cristiano Ronaldo dodged questions about his international future after playing what is likely to be his final game in a World Cup finals.
But the question of ‘what happens next?’ is only set to intensify over the coming days and weeks.
His exploits in Russia have provided light relief from the annual debate over his position at Real Madrid. But his next move will come back into sharp focus following Portugal’s elimination at the hands of Uruguay in the last 16.
Ronaldo headed to the tournament “sad and determined to leave” the Bernabeu.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard this - and Manchester United have become so wearied by the constant speculation over his future that they refused to even entertain the prospect of entering bidding when word of his discontent emerged 12 months ago.
A year on and sources close to the 33-year-old insist he is serious about finally leaving the Bernabeu.
United remain to be convinced - and it speaks volumes that Gareth Bale is the man they’ve shown more interest in prising away from the Champions League winners.
The Welshman’s public ‘Come and get me’ plea after scoring two goals against Liverpool in the Champions League final put United on high alert in a summer where Jose Mourinho was prioritising other areas in need of strengthening.
While he wants to add to his attack, his interest in Chelsea’s Willian is evidence of the sort of investment he was planning to spend on the right of his forward line.
Bale would cost in the region of the £85.3m Real paid Tottenham for him five years ago.
United would try to negotiate a figure closer to £50m for Willian.
Ronaldo would cost more than both - and that’s before his astronomical wages are taken into consideration.
That’s why only a handful of clubs are considered viable options, with England, France and Italy the only countries he is prepared to leave Spain for.
His mother has already made it clear that United are her preferred choice, while former England manager Fabio Capello claimed last month that Ronaldo has a dream to be reunited with Mourinho and end his career back at Old Trafford.
The pair worked together at Real where they broke Pep Guardiola and Barcelona’s stranglehold of the Spanish title.
With Mourinho once again facing the challenge of ending Guardiola’s domination - this time in the Premier League - could he afford not to move for Ronaldo if his countryman is really ready to go?