Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United’s training ground on July 26 to meet with the club and discuss his future as a United player. It has since been reported that the situation remains unresolved; Ronaldo is adamant about playing Champions League football and has told manager Erik ten Hag he “wants to leave”.
Ronaldo’s Best Efforts Rendered Useless
News broke of the 37-year-old’s desire to leave at the beginning of July. Ronaldo did not attend the club’s pre-season training nor their tour of Australia and Thailand, due to personal reasons.
His agent, Jorge Mendes, has since met with clubs in order to seek a suitable transfer away for his player and even met with Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly before manager Thomas Tuchel ultimately rejected the offer of Ronaldo moving to West London.
United were unable to secure a place in the Champions League last season following a lacklustre campaign overall. The Portugal international provided 24 goals across all competitions and finished as the team’s top goal scorer in 2021/2022. He finished third in the Premier League’s Golden Boot race having netted 18 times.
Fabrizio Romano tweeted an update, saying: “No changes yet for Cristiano Ronaldo situation. Manchester United insist he’s not for sale
“Cristiano told Ten Hag in the last 24h he still wants to leave.”
Romano added: “His agent Jorge Mendes will try again to find a solution. Waiting strategy on, as last year with Juventus.”
Jonathan Shrager has reported that Ronaldo’s eagerness to leave and United’s reluctance to sell may “further complicate an exit”.
He also confirmed: “Chelsea are no longer an option; Atletico Madrid has many elements to solve but remains possible” and that there are “developments anticipated in coming days”.
If the forward was to complete a transfer to Atletico Madrid, it would likely tarnish the relationship built with the Real Madrid fans during his successful time at the club.
United’s Options if Ronaldo Gets His Move
Whilst United have shown more ambition in the transfer market in recent weeks with the additions of Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, they have not yet sought out a replacement forward for the potential departure of Ronaldo.
Their main option heading into the new season would be Anthony Martial, should Ronaldo get his desired move, and while the Frenchman’s pre-season showing has been very promising, he has struggled to perform for the Red Devils since his scintillating form over two years ago at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.