Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly told Manchester United that he wants to leave the club if a suitable offer comes in this summer. He wants to play in the Champions League and also does not believe that United can mount a Premier League title challenge in the upcoming season.
Ronaldo’s contract at Old Trafford runs till the end of next season, with an option to extend for a further year. He has no agreement to join another club, although his agent Jorge Mendes has been exploring options including Chelsea and Bayern Munich for some time.
Cristiano Ronaldo told Man United he wants to leave this summer as he wants to see more ambition. Man Utd are still hopeful of keeping CR7, but aware of decision. 🚨🇵🇹 #Ronaldo
Cristiano has no agreement with any other club. Mendes explored options for weeks and will continue. pic.twitter.com/VRji13zrz0
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 2, 2022
After a widely publicised return to the Red Devils from Juventus last season, Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions for the club, more than twice the tally of the next highest goalscorer, compatriot Bruno Fernandes. He was one of the few bright spots as United endured a horror season, finishing sixth in the league and scraping qualification to the Europa League.
Despite a promised fresh start under new manager Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo has apparently been disappointed by the lack of new signings at the club. But club executives are standing firm that the 37-year-old is not for sale and hope to convince him with their work in the transfer market over the coming weeks.
United are very close to landing the Netherlands left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, with the 22-year-old arriving in Manchester on Sunday for two days of medical tests. A fee of €17m has been agreed with the Eredivisie side. The Red Devils are also working on two much more expensive deals that they hope will be the type of players that will convince Ronaldo to stay.
The club have put in a €45m bid for centre-back Lisandro Martinez of Ajax, with the player apparently keen on a move to England. However, United’s bid is less than Ajax’s valuation of €50m and they also face competition for the 24-year-old Argentine from Arsenal.
There is also the long-running transfer saga involving Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, with the clubs having agreed in principle to an €85m deal. But the structure has not been finalised and personal terms need to be agreed with the Dutch midfielder, who is reportedly not seeking a move and wishes to play in the Champions League anyway.
Ten Hag also reportedly has his eyes on Brentford’s Christian Eriksen and another Ajax star, Antony.
The potential loss of Ronaldo would be a huge blow for Manchester United, both in goalscoring terms and off the pitch, with the loss of the player’s huge commercial pull. But since joining United for the first time in 2003, Ronaldo has played in the Champions League every season and is the competition’s all-time top scorer. He believes that staying at United will not help him lift the continental trophy for the sixth time.