It was announced on Monday that Cristiano Ronaldo would fly back to Manchester to have talks with Manchester United this week and the knives are already out in the media to try and predict the right course of action that will be taken by the player and the club following all the reports of the player’s impending exit this summer.
The Sun has reported that Ronaldo, 37, will hold talks with bosses at United and he will supposedly tell them that he will not remain at the club or sign a new deal. Which is strange as there were no reports of a new deal, just a rumour that United could send the player on loan this season if he agreed to a third season at United, which was part of his contract last year.
Ronaldo has already missed the pre-season tour or Thailand and Australia where United beat Liverpool 4-0, Melbourne Victory 4-1, Crystal Palace 3-1 and drew 2-2 with Aston Villa before flying back to Manchester after the match, arriving on Sunday afternoon. United have two more pre-season matches against Atletico Madrid in Oslo and Rayo Vallecano in Manchester.
Family reasons kept the Portuguese forward out of pre-season training and the tour so far this summer, which is supposedly something that United have accepted. But the reports coming out of different parts of Europe have suggested that Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes has been offering the player to club in the UEFA Champions League this season.
United only qualified for the UEFA Europa League, which was on the table in early April, which is something Ronaldo knew could happen but only in June, the reports started coming thick and fast about another impending exit from the Old Trafford club. Ronaldo has never played in the Europa League during his career – always playing in the Champions League.
United have continued to insist that the player is not available for sale the summer, seemingly keeping him to his contract, which was for two seasons, with the option of a third at the Theatre of Dreams. Whether that happens or not now remains to be seen. This will be between Erik ten Hag and Ronaldo to sort out. United will need to move in the transfer market if he leaves the club.
Reports have suggested that a loan spell for the season could be attained if the player agrees to that third year at United which was part of his contract on returning last summer, which would see him playing for United as he turns 39 – which could be a great risk for United. That said, the player seems to be in great shape at this late stage in his career, although on the pitch he is slower.
That is to be expected with any player getting on in age but Ronaldo has remained top drawer and still has things that he wants to achieve in Europe’s top flight before his career stops shining, which will happen at some undetermined point in the future. United have just Anthony Martial in the striker role aside of Ronaldo and his start in pre-season has been impressive.
However, he is just an injury away from screwing everything up for United so whatever happens this week will need to be resolved this week as United will need to sign another striker this summer to take the pressure off Martial and give United another option going forward. This will be a pivotal period for both United and Ronaldo after a reunion that did not quite work out.
Written by John Walker