Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Manchester United training today for the first time since asking to leave, it has been claimed. The Portugal international wants to join a team who can offer him Champions League football. But, so far, there have been few suitors for the 37-year-old – while the Red Devils have also insisted their talisman isn’t for sale.
At the end of June, it emerged that Ronaldo had asked to leave United less than 12 months after his Hollywood homecoming from Juventus.
The Portugal international has no intention of playing in the Europa League, having never graced that tournament throughout his career so far – though he did feature for Sporting Lisbon when it was formerly known as the UEFA Cup.
Ronaldo missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a private matter, though did return to Manchester earlier this week.
The veteran was in attendance for the Red Devils’ 4-1 friendly win over Wrexham on Wednesday, witnessing Christian Eriksen net his first goal for the club.
And, now, Sky Sports via The Sun have claimed Ronaldo has ‘sheepishly’ returned to training today.
Man Utd transfers: Bruno Fernandes has approved Frenkie de Jong alternative
Bayern themselves have been linked but the likes of Oliver Kahn and manager Julian Nagelsmann have distanced themselves from talk of a deal.
Likewise Atletico Madrid, whose fans put up a Ronaldo banner in protest over any potential deal for their former rival.
Napoli could be one team to keep an eye on.
But United won’t let Ronaldo return to Serie A on loan, while they’re also reluctant to terminate his contract despite his desire to go.
At present, all signs point to the Portugal international being stuck at Old Trafford for the next 12 months, when he’ll then become a free agent.
Man Utd fixtures: When Erik ten Hag’s team face every Premier League team
And former United star Jaap Stam wants his old side to provide clarity of Ronaldo’s situation sooner, rather than later.
“Well, you don’t want to have too much confusion within the squad straightaway, especially when you’re starting as a new manager,” he said.
“You’re working with one of the best players in the world. He’s been doing very well, last season scoring a lot of goals.
“I was hoping that Ronaldo was going to stay because I think he could be very important for the club.
“I think Ronaldo is still one of the best players at United. Even when he’s not scoring, he’s always making the opposition aware of him and they always need to pay him a lot of attention which creates opportunities and space for other players.
Want the new Man Utd shirt? Click here to buy it.
“I assume that ten Hag spoke with him about the new season.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, but it looks like Ronaldo wants to make a move and play somewhere else next season, which I think is a shame.
“If the player has said that he wants to leave, although it’s very tough for the manager and for the club and especially for the fans, then the situation doesn’t need to drag on that long.
“United need to make a decision as a club and find a way to deal with his departure. The manager needs to build his squad and understand who he will be working with.
“United don’t want to be in a situation where they have been using other players up front, and those players that have been performing are all of a sudden dropped because Ronaldo didn’t get his move and he needs to play.”
Want the latest football news? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here