There were jubilant celebrations around this time last year, when Manchester Untied welcomed the surprising return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the club. That move was apparently motivated by the real threat of him joining Manchester City, which couldn’t possibly be allowed to happen.
But just one year on and given the Red Devils won’t be competing in the Champions League, despite the arrival of a new manager who is keen to launch an ambitious new project, the Portuguese superstar seems desperate to leave Old Trafford. His heart is set on playing in the elite continental competition, rather than appearing in the Europa League, which the 37-year-old seems to consider beneath his stature.
Lukewarm reception to Ronaldo enquiries
Atleti fans have a message for Ronaldo 💀 pic.twitter.com/cAjKRW1B5K
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 27, 2022
This is hardly the kind of problem Erik ten Hag was hoping to encounter, upon accepting the challenge of sparking a new era at Manchester United under his management. Indeed, the Dutch coach had frequently underlined his admiration of Ronaldo, acknowledging what the iconic player means to the club and its massive fanbase. But all the effusive praise appears to have fallen on deaf ears, because the player wants to take his CR7 brand elsewhere.
Throughout what has turned out to be an agonising summer for Manchester United, certainly with regards to Ronaldo, his name has been linked with countless clubs. Mendes has been in contact with practically everyone from Chelsea to Bayern Munich, touting the services of his client. The latest club associated with rumoured interest is Atletico Madrid in Spain, although their club president Enrique Cerezo was quick to pour water on any such talk.
“I don’t know who made up the Cristiano story, but it’s practically impossible for him to come,” insisted Cerezo in comments highlighted by Spanish outlet Marca this week. Insofar as the Atletico Madrid supremo is concerned, this effectively closes the door on Cristiano, largely because any such move is considered to be beyond their economic means, while manager Diego Simeone has also said he doesn’t need any attacking reinforcements.
Ronaldo at an impasse with United
No changes yet for Cristiano Ronaldo situation. Manchester United insist he’s not for sale, Cristiano told ten Hag in the last 24h that he still wants to leave. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
His agent Jorge Mendes will try again to find a solution. Waiting strategy on, as last year with Juventus. pic.twitter.com/6CjzS8WSdA
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 27, 2022
When he finally turned up at Carrington, talks were immediately held between Ronaldo, his agent Jorge Mendes, and the United hierarchy. The position outlined by Mendes was that Ronaldo would sign a contract extension at Old Trafford, albeit under the provision his client could move to another club on loan during the 2022-23 season, granting him the opportunity to play for a club competing in the Champions League.
Inevitably, the response any such suggestion received was a swift refusal from the club, who reiterated their firm stance that Ronaldo was neither for sale nor loan. There would be no compromise and no willingness to be pressured into any hasty decisions, unless perhaps Mendes could conjure up a permanent move in which United would receive a transfer fee.
Unfortunately, this will also be something of an unwanted and frustrating distraction for his manager Ten Hag, who will probably feel he cannot genuinely count on the player ahead of the new season. According to the Mirror, the showdown talks with Manchester United will have an inevitable outcome, which is none other than Ronaldo maintaining his own stance, while the club keeps to theirs, achieving little more than a state of limbo for now.
Red Devils must find a quick solution
Regardless of what Ronaldo has achieved throughout his illustrious career, no matter how popular he may still remain with the majority of Manchester United fans, the club cannot afford to let the current situation fester. Likewise, such a worrisome display of ego and disloyalty cannot be permitted, no matter how huge the profile of the Portuguese superstar.
Although odds and predictions at the top betting sites around are hardly glowing, there is a growing sense of optimism about this new-look Manchester United, under Ten Hag’s leadership. This makes it worth checking for further insights via SBO, whose experts focus on what really matters for punters, including information covering different betting markets. The future of Ronaldo could affect many markets, such as United’s title odds or which club he’ll be playing for next.
But while this might be an unpopular opinion amongst certain sections of the United support, the club would probably be better washing their hands of Ronaldo, even if it means letting him depart for free. At least they would remove his massive salary from the accounts, which could be better spent on players who actually do want to wear the shirt, grateful for the opportunity.