Manchester United change Cristiano Ronaldo stance amid Chelsea transfer interest

Manchester United have softened their stance on keeping Cristiano Ronaldo and will consider selling the forward to foreign clubs.

The 37-year-old shocked the club’s board this weekend by asking to leave, with Ronaldo keen to play in the Champions League next season.

Ronaldo has been short of suitors since news broke of the forward’s informal request to leave Old Trafford but his agent, Jorge Mendes, held discreet talks with Chelsea last week.

The Blues appear the most interested party for Ronaldo and they would afford him the ability to compete for trophies, as well as playing in the Champions League.

But United will not consider selling to a direct rival and would let Ronaldo see out the final 12 months of his contract if the only offer comes from within the Premier League.

However, having initially insisted he was not for sale, ESPN say United’s stance has shifted and they now concede that they will have to entertain offers for Ronaldo.

It’s felt keeping the forward could be a bigger problem than letting him go and Erik ten Hag could ‘accelerate’ his rebuild of the club by discarding of Ronaldo.

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But Ronaldo’s decision to inform United so late into the window has left the club scrambling for possible replacements, having already missed out on Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez.

Antony, the Ajax forward, is a target for Ten Hag but the Brazilian is considered a wide player.

Ronaldo’s departure means Anthony Martial would be the only recognised centre forward at the club and even he faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford.

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