Cristiano Ronaldo still wants to leave Manchester United after talks with the club this week.
Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes met United at Carrington on Tuesday but his stance remains unchanged and he wants to play for a club in the Champions League and win major trophies.
United don’t want him to leave, however, and Ronaldo has started training with the team after missing the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia for family reasons.
His potential options elsewhere are limited. Chelsea are no longer an option, while Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid appeared to publicly rule themselves out this week.
Atletico fans displayed a banner reading ‘CR7 not welcome’ during a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.
Although there are major issues to overcome for Ronaldo to join Atletico, Sky Sports News was told by a source not to completely rule it out yet.
Is Ronaldo running out of options?
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
“As we’ve seen on Instagram, Ronaldo has stayed fit so Manchester United aren’t worried about his fitness or his physical level; he’s one of the fittest players in world football.
“At the end of the day, Ronaldo has declared his desire to leave Old Trafford, but he’s running out of options, and it looks like he’s going to have to stay. Maybe he’ll try to tip it where the pay cut is. 25 per cent in his contract will be waived by United, perhaps he wants to maneuver and beef up a new deal, we’ll have to wait and see. But it doesn’t look like Stamford Bridge is on his cards.
“Chelsea walked away from a deal for Ronaldo, as did Bayern Munich, Napoli and many other elite clubs that Jorge Mendes, who is Ronaldo’s agent, tried to sell him to.
“An offer from Saudi Arabia is astronomical but ultimately it doesn’t give Cristiano Ronaldo what he wants, which is that legacy. He wants to achieve Champions League records that he thinks no one else will be able to reach in the future.
“He wants to sign at the absolute top level. Now it looks more and more like he will have to stay at Manchester United because there are no big club biters.
“Everyone has their strikers already, and Chelsea, who are the only club that seem to have the potential to be spun by what Cristiano Ronaldo offers off the pitch because we’ve been told that Mendes, while being ahead of those clubs, touted his numbers in terms of social media influence, endorsements he garners, business gain from his shirt sales, etc. But even they are now saying he is not in their plans. immediate is to strengthen the defense.
“So it really doesn’t leave much choice for Ronaldo. We know he wants to compete at the highest level, so if he goes to Saudi Arabia it goes against everything he’s said and of everything we really know about him and his career.
“Manchester United have always been very calm and very comfortable. They insisted he was not for sale, and he will see the last year of his contract. We will see how they maneuver now, but Ronaldo stays fit, so they have no issues, no issues or fears as to what condition he will report in pre-season.”
United are not giving up on De Jong | Open to Bailly offers
United not giving up on signing Barcelona midfielder Frankie de Jongand are comfortable with the wide-ranging deal they have with Barcelona – worth £72million including add-ons.
The club will have its own deadline to complete a deal before activating moves for other targets. Sky Sports News were told United were keeping alternatives ‘hot’ should a deal for De Jong fail to materialise.
United are also interested in the Ajax striker Anthony in this transfer window but not at the price Ajax want.
The club is open to offers for defenders Eric Bailly and Alex Telles.
There has been interest from Fulham, Trabzonspor and Serie A in Bailly. United would prefer a sale or at least a loan with an obligation to buy.
Telles’ playing time will be even more limited next season following the arrivals of Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez, but there are no concrete offers yet.
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