Cristiano Ronaldo was Man Utd’s top scorer last season with 24 goals; Ronaldo previously said he was “very happy” but now wants to leave amid concerns over trophies and transfers; Man Utd insist he is not for sale.
Manchester United insist Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale despite the forward asking to leave the club this summer. With at least one year remaining on his contract.
Speaking at the beginning of June, Ronaldo said he was “very happy” to remain at United and predicted they would rebound from a dreadful 2021/22 season.
But just one month later, the Portugal captain has had a change of heart and wants to leave Old Trafford amid concerns over trophies and transfers. United insist he is not for sale.
The 37-year-old returned to Manchester last summer – 12 years after originally leaving for Real Madrid – and netted 24 goals in 38 games to finish as the club’s top scorer in all competitions.
But while it was a strong campaign in front of goal for Ronaldo, it was a disastrous one for the team. United finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to lift a trophy for a fifth consecutive season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has played in the Champions League for 19 campaigns in a row and United’s failure to qualify for the competition is understood to be a key reason for wanting to depart the club for a second time.
Ronaldo can succeed in Ten Hag’s system
New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is expected to recreate a brand of the high-intensity style he employed at Ajax, which raises questions about how Ronaldo will cope with his demands if he remains at the club.
While Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has admitted pressing is not Ronaldo’s strong point, he feels Ten Hag “will want someone who can put the ball in the back of the net 20 or 25 times”.
Ronaldo’s 24 goals in all competitions last season dwarfed the return of his team-mates. Bruno Fernandes was the club’s next highest scorer on 10 goals, followed by Mason Greenwood on six.
Once a tricky and dynamic winger, Ronaldo has now evolved into a prolific No 9 but has shown he can still link up effectively with those behind him.
Ten Hag could look to use the veteran in a similar way to how he deployed Dusan Tadic while Ajax boss. During the 2018/19 season, when Ten Hag’s side reached the Champions League semi-finals, Tadic played up front but combined well with Hakim Ziyech and David Neres on either wing and Donny van de Beek just behind him.