Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out to dispute claims that he is planning to leave Manchester United and return to his boyhood club, Sporting Lisbon, on loan.
Cristiano Ronaldo has finally spoken out to put an end to speculation that he will rejoin Sporting Lisbon this summer, but his future at Manchester United remains unknown.
The Portuguese veteran dropped a massive bombshell on Erik ten Hag earlier this month when he stated that if the club receives a decent deal for him, he would desire to leave Old Trafford this summer – just 12 months after making a remarkable return to the Premier League.
Ronaldo is anxious to play Champions League football next season and has been connected with a number of teams who could provide him with the opportunity. However, rumors of a return to Ronaldo’s boyhood club Sporting Lisbon has emerged in recent days.
Ronaldo’s car was even sighted outside Sporting’s stadium, with Portuguese site Sport TV reporting that the Manchester United star was in talks over a loan move. However, the 37-year-old has responded to such accusations, calling them “false” in a social media post.
Ronaldo had only played one complete season for Sporting before being attracted to the Premier League in the summer of 2003. However, his refusal to return to Portugal appears to signal that the striker is determined to join one of Europe’s top clubs, especially because he has so far refused to close off links to any other possible suitors.
Despite Ronaldo’s desire to leave Old Trafford this summer, it is unclear whether the former Real Madrid and Juventus player will get his way.
Chelsea, United’s Premier League rivals, were also connected with a surprise bid for Ronaldo, but Blues manager Thomas Tuchel and the club’s new co-owner, Todd Boehly, opted against it. Bayern Munich has also ruled out signing the United striker, who scored 24 goals in all competitions last season.
With Ronaldo’s options for escaping his Old Trafford misery clearly exhausted, a return to Sporting would have allowed the 189-cap hero to compete in next year’s Champions League.
Meanwhile, United’s forward has performed admirably without Ronaldo during the club’s pre-season tour of Asia. Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford have all scored for Manchester United, who have scored four goals in two games against Liverpool and Melbourne Victory.
However, Ten Hag has stated that the door remains open for Ronaldo at Old Trafford, despite the club’s refusal to sell their talisman. “We are planning with Ronaldo for this season, so that’s it,” the Dutchman added, “and I am looking forward to working with him.”