Manchester United and Brentford fans clash before game
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Cristiano Ronaldo has sparked confusion on his Manchester United future by going out of his way to deny claims that he said “I’m not finished” after Monday’s win over Brentford. Red Devils fans received the footage message as an apparent signal that he would be staying next season, but the Portuguese star’s public denial may suggest otherwise.
Ronaldo dispatched a penalty at Old Trafford as United romped to a 3-0 win over the Bees. Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane were also on target to give Ralf Rangnick’s side three points and put a stop to a dismal run of recent form.
After the game, TV cameras appeared to pick up Ronaldo saying “I’m not finished”, which was interpreted by many to mean that he had more to give the club he originally left in 2009. When one fan account shared their view on Instagram, the United star left a telling comment which read: “I didn’t say that.”
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Ronaldo has earned mixed reviews since sealing a sensational return to Old Trafford last summer. Rangnick and his predecessor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have both overseen lulls in form that invited criticism onto much of the squad, but the 37-year-old has come up with a late flurry to silence many of his doubters.
With 18 Premier League goals to his name so far, the veteran forward trails only Mohamed Salah and Heung-min Son in the scoring charts. Nevertheless, he has been tipped by many to jump ship from Old Trafford this summer due to their failed bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
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The arrival of Ajax box Erik ten Hag at the end of the season brings with it fresh uncertainty, and it remains to be seen how prominently Ronaldo will feature in his first-team plans. If not given the assurances he wants, the former Real Madrid superstar could be moved on this summer with Los Blancos rumoured to be interested in a reunion, while other sides may be tempted to rival their prospective approach.
Ronaldo is believed to be pocketing huge wages with the Red Devils, and shifting him at the end of the season could free up plenty of space for Ten Hag to get his project started. Numerous targets from the Eredivisie have been linked to Old Trafford including Antony, Jurrien Timber and Tyrell Malacia.
As Rangnick approaches the end of his interim stint in charge of United, he has become increasingly outspoken about the problems they need to tackle. Despite Ronaldo going out of his way to deny his Man Utd commitment hint, however, the German seemingly believes that he will see out the final year of his contract.
“I don’t think why it should be a wave of goodbye,” Rangnick told Stadium Astro after Ronaldo’s potential Old Trafford farewell, “He’s got another year of his contract, and as far as I know he will be here next season again.”
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