Man Utd ‘ready to sell Ronaldo’ after training no-shows
The Red Devils are now prepared to lose their top scorer ahead of the new Premier League season
Manchester United have buckled to Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer demands and are reportedly ready to sell the player in the current summer window.
Ronaldo is said to have informed the Red Devils over the weekend to listen to any reasonable offers that came in for him as he plots an escape from Old Trafford.
On Monday, he failed to report for the first day of preseason training citing family reasons which were accepted by the club.
But this absence has now stretched to a full three days while Ronaldo has been spotted keeping in shape at the Portugal national team’s training facilities in Lisbon.
According to a report from The Sun, United are ready to part with the 37-year-old they landed from Juventus last August on a two-year contract despite previously being adamant he would not be sold.
New boss Erik ten Hag had been counting on Ronaldo, who notched 24 goals in all competitions last season, to lead his attack.
But it now seems doubtful that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will join the squad for a preseason tour of Asia and Australia which they will leave northwestern England to start on Friday.
Ronaldo wants to play Champions League football in the twilight of his career which United can’t offer him at present, and he has been linked with potential suitors such as Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Napoli, and even the arch enemies of his former club Real Madrid in FC Barcelona.
United realize that they can’t keep Ronaldo at Old Trafford against his will and are keen not to get involved in a drawn-out transfer saga that could affect the rest of the squad leading up to the new 2022/2023 campaign.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, who led a consortium that purchased the club for £4.5 billion ($5.4 billion) from Roman Abramovich, is acting as a sporting director at Stamford Bridge following Marina Granovskaia’s departure.
Due to this, he has met with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes to sound out a potential coup for CR7 but must run any solid approach past coach Thomas Tuchel to see how the forward would fit into his system.
Furthermore, Chelsea have lodged a £45 million ($54 million) offer for England star Raheem Sterling who has agreed personal terms with them. Yet Sterling’s capability of playing on the wing as well as up front could still see Ronaldo arrive in west London as well.
In order to offload Ronaldo, it is believed that United want to claw back as much as possible of the £21.4 million ($25.6 million) fee they paid for him to Juventus last year.
Losing Ronaldo would force United to head to the market and find a replacement, whether that is a winger such as Antony at Ten Hag’s former club Ajax, who would allow Marcus Rashford to play up front, or a like-for-like replacement such as Barca’s top target Robert Lewandowski.
On Wednesday, it was reported that United had a £51 million ($61 million) bid turned down for Antony, who is almost guaranteed to head to the Qatar 2022 World Cup with Brazil later in November.