All summer, Manchester United’s public stance has been to keep Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar has tried to walk away from the club, hoping to join a side that will be in the Champions League this season. However, his agent Jorge Mendes hasn’t been able to generate much interest. Ronaldo’s salary, style of play and personality make him a tough choice for potential buyers.
While Erik ten Hag has said he wants to keep the striker, his actions in recent games speak differently. The 37-year-old was dropped from the starting XI which improved the team’s performance considerably.
This could make an exit more likely before the end of the transfer window next week, although interest remains highly doubtful.
Sporting Lisbon coach doesn’t like signing Cristiano Ronaldo
Sporting Lisbon have been mentioned as a possible destination in recent months. He’s expected to take a big pay cut, but there’s a romantic aspect to Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the club where he started his career. They are also in the Champions League this season and will compete for honors on the home front.
However, not everyone at the club is convinced it would be a good idea.
In an intriguing Times article which details the player’s mission to get away from Old Trafford, it is suggested that Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim would quit if he signed Cristiano Ronaldo.
Although they won a league title and two Portuguese cups together, relations between the club and the manager have become somewhat strained lately. Amorim was unhappy that the board sanctioned the sale of Matheus Nunes to Wolves last week and said so publicly.
Ronaldo knows the Sporting Lisbon boss well, having played alongside him for Portugal for several years in the early 2010s. The report claims the striker called his former teammates’ stance on a potential deal “laughable”.
It remains to be seen whether the club would go against their manager’s stance should the opportunity arise.
This is just one example of Cristiano Ronaldo’s current position in the game. Although he is one of the greatest players of all time, the baggage he brings to this stage of his career discourages most teams.
Considering how Erik ten Hag has approached recent games, this could present major problems for Manchester United going forward if they don’t move on.
The player is unlikely to enjoy extended spells on the bench and could become an even more disruptive presence in the dressing room.
Their manager is surely hoping to find a taker before Thursday’s deadline.