Why Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United
On Saturday, it emerged Cristiano Ronaldo had told Manchester United he wanted to leave this summer – if the right offer came along.
Ronaldo made an emotional return to United last summer and despite an impressive individual season the club failed to break into the Premier League top four.
The Portugal international has now hinted that he wants out. Athleticism took a look at the situation, why Ronaldo wants to leave and put together a guide to everything we know right now about his possible departure.
So why does Ronaldo want to leave?
It’s quite simple. Ronaldo undoubtedly has a strong emotional connection with United – this is his second spell at the club. He had previously played there between 2003 and 2009, winning the Premier League three times and the Champions League once.
However, if he stays, this upcoming season would be the first in Ronaldo’s senior playing career where his team will not be in the Champions League. It’s a problem for a player who has won the competition five times and is desperate to compete for the future.
At 37, Ronaldo will know that he only has a few seasons left at the highest level.
United didn’t compete seriously for any trophies last term either. Ronaldo is said to be desperate to earn more honors before retiring.
As Athleticism reported last weekend, Ronaldo is keen for United to live up to their ambition by strengthening the squad.
They still have to sign this summer. They are, however, close to adding Tyrell Malacia, want Frenkie de Jong and are in the running for Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.
United want to sell him?
No. It is understood that United are of the opinion that Ronaldo is not for sale this summer.
He is still under contract for another season.
New manager Erik ten Hag spoke warmly of his work with Ronaldo, who said he was “happy and excited” by the Dutchman’s appointment.
“I know (Ten Hag) has done a fantastic job for Ajax and he is an experienced coach, but we have to give him time and things have to change the way he wants,” Ronaldo added in a recent post. interview.
Would he still appeal to other clubs?
Absolutely. Ronaldo may be a little less of a runner than he was at the peak of his career, but his production hasn’t diminished in front of goal.
He was United’s top scorer last season, with 24 goals in 38 games. Even at 37, he was the Premier League’s third top scorer with 18 goals in this competition.
There hasn’t been a drop in his goalscoring stats in recent seasons. He hit 28, 37 and 36 for Juventus during his three campaigns there.
Ronaldo has also remained injury-free to a remarkable degree. According to TransferMarkt, in the last two seasons he’s only missed 23 days due to physical injuries.
Who cares about him?
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly met Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes last month. The idea of Ronaldo joining Chelsea was one of the topics discussed.
It’s unclear at this stage if Chelsea will want to take the opportunity. Chelsea let Romelu Lukaku return to Inter Milan on loan in recent days.
The opportunity to sign Ronaldo has also been discussed with German champions Bayern Munich, who could lose Robert Lewandowski this summer amid interest from Barcelona.
Italian side Napoli are also credited with an interest in Ronaldo.
Would his departure be a problem for United?
Yes absolutely. As our Manchester United correspondent Laurie Whitwell wrote: “New manager Erik ten Hag has been preparing for Ronaldo’s presence in his squad and underscored that point when he was unveiled. Thus, Ronaldo’s desire to leave is creating turmoil, especially as United have yet to secure any of their key transfer targets.
“Attacking additions are further down the list which means Ten Hag would have to get creative if he needed to fill a void at centre-forward. Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 38 games for United last season, by far the team’s most powerful player.
“His place at the time of United’s attack was not without problems, so a departure could allow Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to flourish.
“Still, United would be heading for a campaign without a recognized striker and the options in the market are limited – two former targets in Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez have already joined rivals.”
Are Ronaldo’s concerns over United’s transfer business justified?
In a sense, yes. Champions Manchester City have already strengthened this summer, bringing in Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Stefan Ortega.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have signed Darwin Nunez to bolster their already stellar front line.
The Premier League’s strongest teams are only going from strength to strength, while Champions League winners Real Madrid have actively recruited Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger to improve their squad.
It’s easy to see why he would be frustrated with a perceived slow start to the window for United.