Manchester United football legend Cristiano Ronaldo will be allowed to exit Old Trafford in January.
According to Telegraph’s Jason Burt’s report, the 37-year-old Portuguese star is eager to vacate Manchester United in search of first-team minutes and Champions League football.
United coach Erik ten Hag’s initial plan was to include the 37-year-old former Juventus and Madrid striker as part of his project at the club. But the former Ajax Amsterdam manager has changed his course and won’t stand in Ronaldo’s way any longer, since he has failed to incorporate Ronaldo as a regular starter.
Before the summer transfer ended, Ronaldo notified the Red Devils of his intention to depart from Old Trafford in the summer, with the hope of hurrying to a club in the Champions League.
Despite what seems like a potential link with Borussia Dortmund and a possible return to Sporting CP, Ronaldo’s transfer was halted before the transfer window closed with the expectation that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner would optimally function at Old Trafford.
However, the Portuguese international football icon played no part in Sunday’s 6-3 defeat to Manchester City, as he was restricted to the bench throughout the game, and has made just one start in eight appearances for United in the Premier League this season.
Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Ten Hag claimed he didn’t use Ronaldo in the defeat at Etihad Stadium out of “respect” for the Portuguese striker’s storied career.
Nevertheless, it’s crystal clear that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and one of the greatest players of all time is not needed at United, and while Ten Hag was initially unwilling to let him go, the Dutch coach will not dare stand in Ronaldo’s way should a favorable offer arrive.
Jason Burt of Telegraph’s report claimed: “As Ten Hag held an inquest at United’s Carrington training on Monday in which players and staff were encouraged not to pull any punches about Sunday’s shambolic 6-3 defeat to Manchester City, Ronaldo’s future was again in the spotlight after he was left on the bench.
“Ten Hag has trodden carefully whenever the subject of Ronaldo is raised, but it is believed the United manager is open to letting the 37-year-old leave in the winter window if an acceptable offer is made.
“Having wanted to keep Ronaldo when he first took over, Ten Hag has been more relaxed about him leaving ever since the player made it clear he wanted to go.”
However, with Antony Martial back from injury, it is plausible that Ronaldo’s minutes at United will become even more limited.
Even when Ten Hag’s favorite forward Antony Martial was out due to injury, the manager preferred to deploy Marcus Rashford instead of Ronaldo.
Rashford is mainly a winger, but in a show of no confidence in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ten Hag cared less about Ronaldo’s past glory, and putting him on the bench is Hag’s “reasonable decision”.
Roy Keane Blasts Manchester United For How They Are Treating Cristiano Ronaldo
Meanwhile, Manchester United have come under attack for their ill-treatment towards Ronaldo from sections of their fanbase and the media.
Manchester United legend and former captain Roy Keane has openly criticized Ten Hag and the club for humiliating one of the greatest players of all time.
The five-time Ballon d’Or victor and former Real Madrid Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo remained on the bench throughout Manchester United’s huge defeat to Manchester City, something which former United captain Roy Keane described as a lack of respect.
Even though Anthony Martial, who was preferred to come off the bench and prompt an equalizer by Erik ten Hag, scored twice, Roy Keane still believes Ronaldo should’ve been given an outing.
Keane told skysport: “I think it’s ridiculous for a player of his stature, for Man United to just keep him [on the bench].
“Even today, could he have brought him on? Of course, he could’ve brought him on. So what if you’re 4-0 down? If you look at his goal scoring record, he has as good a chance as anyone of putting the ball in the back of the net.
“People obsessed with the pressing side of the game. If you put the ball in the right areas, he’ll score goals.”
Keane further explained how United acted disrespectfully even though the 37-year-old Portuguese star was keen to force his way out of Old Trafford in the summer.
Keane asserted that it’s more disrespectful to render Ronaldo needless and unimportant when Ten Hag knew he would scornfully put Ronaldo on the bench throughout the season.
Keane said: “Man United are showing disrespect to Ronaldo. I think he should’ve been let go before the transfer window [closed].
“He’s one of the greatest players ever, he had options, this idea that he had no options is rubbish. He did have options, four or five very good options.
“Okay, today, the manager brought [Anthony] Martial on, who scored two, so yeah that’s justified. But generally speaking, the bigger picture, he’s not going to play Ronaldo, we know that.
“He’s played in one or two European games, it’s just going to get uglier as the season goes on.
“Okay, Ronaldo’s motivated with the World Cup coming up. But if he’s sitting on the bench for Man United week in week out, it’s not good.”
With the way things are now, Ronaldo should exit Old Trafford than being embarrassed-restricting him to the bench while the likes of Messi, Lewandowski, and other great footballers are thriving in their respective clubs.
It would be difficult to argue against Ronaldo’s will of getting his move out of Old Trafford should one become feasible. It would be in the interest of all parties and would halt the never-ending controversies regarding Ronaldo’s role in an underperforming club.