Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, is said to have ‘agreed’ that Cristiano Ronaldo should be moved this summer. Only a year after his sensational comeback from Juventus, the Portugal international is eager to depart Old Trafford. And it appears that he will get his way, despite the Red Devils openly stating that he is not for sale.
Last season, Manchester United saw Ronaldo shine, with the Portugal international scoring 24 goals in all competitions, more than any other player in the group.
However, his return to Old Trafford coincided with the club’s worst-ever Premier League season, with the team finishing sixth in the table with only 16 wins and 58 points.
Ten Hag stated in May that he wants to keep Ronaldo for the duration of his rule, claiming that the 37-year-old would provide his club with guaranteed goals.
However, The Sun reports that the 52-year-old has ‘agreed’ that he’d be better off without the former Real Madrid and Juventus player after board talks.
Ronaldo wishes to leave United for a squad competing in the Champions League, having never played in the Europa League during his glittering career.
He has five times won Europe’s best club competition, scoring 140 goals in the process.
Chelsea is one team interested, especially after super-agent Jorge Mendes met with Blues owner Todd Boehly recently.
However, the west London heavyweights will have a competition to capture Ronaldo, with United executives unwilling to sell to a Premier League competitor.
Bayern Munich has also been mentioned as a potential suitor, with the Bundesliga giants set to lose Robert Lewandowski due to Barcelona’s interest.
Barcelona has explored recruiting Ronaldo, but it’s uncertain whether their present financial circumstances would work against them and make a deal more difficult.
In terms of the player himself, he believes he is still capable of achieving top honors.
But he doesn’t think that’s realistic at Manchester United, who have now gone five years without a trophy, dating back to when Jose Mourinho was in charge.
Ronaldo signed a two-year contract with United after returning from Juventus in August, having previously appeared set to join Manchester City.
However, with Ten Hag now recognizing that the 37-year-old must leave, it will be interesting to see where he ends up.
Ten Hag previously managed the Brazil international at Ajax and United is interested in Antony at a time when Ronaldo could go.
Any trade will not be cheap, with the Eredivisie giants stating that they require a fee of £70 million before even considering allowing the winger to leave.
If United decides to pay the asking price, Antony will become the club’s seventh most expensive signing in history.
It would dwarf the £59 million they paid for Argentina international Angel Di Maria during the summer transfer window of 2014.
However, it would still be a cheaper deal than the ones they’ve negotiated in recent years for Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire, Romelu Lukaku, and Jadon Sancho.
Ronaldo has now skipped United’s training session for the third day in a row.
And there’s a strong possibility that the Red Devils and their No. 7 would profit from a split.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool and Real Madrid great Steve McManaman has spoken out about Ronaldo potentially leaving United.
“It’s a really weird one,” he told Horseracing.net. He barely joined a year ago, which is insane in and of itself. And he shouldn’t want to leave Manchester United simply because they had a bad season.
“You should want to stick around and fight for your cause.” But I can see how it could be advantageous to both sides.
“Erik ten Hag has arrived and has only been asked about Ronaldo. Ten Hag could be better off starting the season without him, because he generates a lot of press, inquiries, and talking points during the season.
“There is no difficulty if Ten Hag wants to get rid of it and thinks it’s terrific, and all the figures add up.”
“Ronny’s 37 years old. I can appreciate his desire to continue playing in the Champions League, but I’m not sure who would accept him.
“The transaction would be significant. Manchester United has handed him a large salary. I have no notion who would pay half a million dollars per week for another year.
“He’s a superstar, but if Manchester United can return their investment, a new manager might be wiser to say, ‘OK, a new start.'” Remove anyone who does not wish to be here. Let’s start over.’
“That’s cool, and it could help Ten Hag.” He might be thinking to himself, ‘this is fantastic.’ But, when you look at the larger picture, I just don’t see how this deal will come together.”