Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly “wants to quit Manchester United this summer” because he does not believe he is a part of Erik ten Hag’s Old Trafford ambition.
The Portuguese striker, 37, scored 24 goals in his second stint at United, but with the appointment of the Dutch coach this summer, everything is poised to change.
The bold claim made by Italian publication La Repubblica is that Ronaldo is now looking for a route out of United ahead of next season.
According to them, the forward does not believe he is a part of Ten Hag’s efforts to revitalize a squad that has been in decline for several seasons.
Both Roma and Sporting Lisbon have been mentioned as possible destinations, but it’s unclear how either club could finance Ronaldo’s massive £480,000-per-week salary, even if they could get him to the table.
As Cristiano Ronaldo nears the end of his illustrious career, United’s inability to qualify for the Champions League next season is reportedly a consideration.
After placing sixth in the Premier League, they will instead compete in the Europa League during Ten Hag’s first season.
According to La Repubblica, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is looking for a new club for his client, and Jose Mourinho’s Roma has emerged as a possible destination.
After three years of working together at Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013, Mourinho and Ronaldo did not part on friendly terms.
Mendes has a good relationship with Roma, having placed not only Mourinho but also goalkeeper Rui Patricio and center midfielder Sergio Oliveira there.
The fact that Roma would not play in the Champions League next season but in the Europa League just like Manchester United could discourage Ronaldo from making the switch.
A romantic reunion with his first club, Sporting Lisbon, is also being discussed. After finishing second to Porto in the Primeira Liga, they qualified for the Champions League the following season.
When United signed Ronaldo from Juventus for an initial cost of £12.85 million at the start of the season, there was a lot of enthusiasm. But his triumphant return was marred by a series of misfortunes, and United never looked like contending for any silverware, making it five years without a trophy.
While Ronaldo’s goals won him a spot in the Premier League Team of the Year, United finished sixth and were eliminated from the Champions League in the last-16 stage by Atletico Madrid.
As a result of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s poor play in November, United hired Ralf Rangnick as an interim coach until the end of the season.
However, under the German coach, there was little improvement.
Ten Hag, a former Ajax manager, has been named as their new permanent manager, and the Dutchman will begin a major team revamp this summer.
Even though Ronaldo’s contract has one year left on it, with the option of a second, he might leave Old Trafford earlier than expected.