Which club might Cristiano Ronaldo join if he leaves Man United?
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been snapped looking happy and giving a thumbs up to fans ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Rayo Vallecano today. The Red Devils will take to the field at Old Trafford for the first time since the appointment of Erik ten Hag. And despite Ronaldo wanting to go, the 37-year-old seems to be in good spirits.
Ronaldo rocked United at the end of June by asking to leave, less than a year after his Hollywood homecoming from Juventus.
But the Red Devils are adamant he isn’t for sale and that the Portugal international won’t be allowed to depart, with Ten Hag even hinting at a possible contract extension.
United face Rayo Vallecano today as they prepare for the start of the new Premier League season.
And Ronaldo has been pictured arriving at the stadium with a smile on his face while giving a thumbs up to supporters, with @UtdPlug sharing the image.
The Portugal international was also seen holding a Louis Vuitton bag as he prepares for his first appearance of pre-season.
And Ten Hag, speaking before the game, said Ronaldo will be in the squad and that he was keeping a close eye on the veteran’s fitness levels.
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“He [Ronaldo] will be in the squad. We’ll see how long he can play,” said the Dutchman.
“I cannot tell in this moment [how fit Ronaldo is].
“He is not on the level of the rest of the squad because he missed a lot of weeks, but he needs games and he needs training, a lot.”
Ronaldo missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family matter.
He’s since returned to training, however, and will remain professional despite his desire to play in the Champions League.
United didn’t qualify for that tournament this term after finishing sixth in the Premier League table under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
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Instead, they’ll be strutting their stuff in the Europa League – a tournament they previously won under Jose Mourinho in 2017.
With Ronaldo’s uncertain, many teams have been linked.
Atletico Madrid have downplayed interest publicly but, behind the scenes, they’re in contact with the Portugal international’s agent Jorge Mendes.
Bayern Munich have ruled out a deal, with the Bundesliga giants using most of their funds on Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt this summer.
Neither Real Madrid or Juventus are interested in bringing Ronaldo back after his departures in 2018 and 2021, either.
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And though Chelsea looked to be initial frontrunners for the United star, Thomas Tuchel isn’t as keen on a deal as new Blues owner Todd Boehly.
Meanwhile, speaking to Genting Casino, former United star Jaap Stam recently called on his side to clarify Ronaldo’s situation as quickly as possible.
“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.
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“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.
“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.”
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