Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to stay at Manchester United this summer and will report back for pre-season training at the beginning of July, despite reports he is ready to quit the club.
Portuguese sports daily Record claim Ronaldo wants to leave after only one season back at Old Trafford as he fears new boss Erik ten Hag does not have the right tools to compete for titles, while he is also said to be frustrated with the club’s transfer window so far.
However, it is understood the 37-year-old is expected to return for pre-season preparations once back from his summer holidays, which will be slightly extended due to his involvement with Portugal in their three opening Nations League fixtures in June.
A report in Spanish daily AS that Bayern Munich are interested in signing Ronaldo if Robert Lewandowski joins Barcelona is also wide of the mark, according to Sky in Germany.
It is understood that Ronaldo does not fit Bayern’s transfer philosophy, while the club are still trying to persuade Lewandowski to see out the final year of his contract despite Barcelona’s €40m (£34.4m) offer for the Poland striker.
The first players to report back to United’s Carrington training base on Monday will be those who did not feature in international fixtures this month, while the rest will follow over the course of the following week.
Ten Hag confirmed during his introductory press conference at United that Ronaldo is part of his plans for the new season, and said he would contribute “goals” to his side.
United are in the midst of a rebuild after allowing Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata to leave after their contracts expired.
United are yet to make a signing this summer, but the club are not panicking about their lack of transfer business and their emphasis is said to be on getting the right players at the right price.
The club have had talks with Barcelona over midfielder Frenkie de Jong, while they have also been linked with other players who worked with Ten Hag at Ajax, including Jurrien Timber and Antony.
“When the transfer window is open, it’s normal that we talk about Cristiano Ronaldo. Manchester United are not in the Champions League next season and Ronaldo is unhappy about this.
“He is completely obsessed with playing in the competition so he’s not living well with the reality that he’s not going to be playing in it in the immediate future.
“He’s spoken to his agent Jorge Mendes, who is seeing if there are any other options. He said he would speak to the clubs who are targeting winning the Champions League to see what could be done in terms of a change in this summer transfer window.
“You can forget the English clubs – Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham – as I’m 100 per cent sure Ronaldo will not play for another club in England, while Ronaldo doesn’t fit into the new project at PSG.
“It leaves Bayern Munich as an option. There wasn’t an interest from Bayern but Mendes spoke with them and posed the question – ‘what do you think about buying Ronaldo for next season?’ Bayern were a little bit confused when Mendes offered them Ronaldo as he’s not the type of player they’d usually look for.
“When an agent offers Ronaldo, you only need to look at the sporting performance – not the age. Ronaldo has a salary of around £25m so it’s not easy for any club to afford. Mendes has asked Bayern about what they think.
“A swap with Robert Lewandowski isn’t an option as he either stays or goes to Barcelona. These are just rumours at this stage, and it’s normal when it comes to Ronaldo.”