Lionel Messi has previously discussed his longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s precarious situation at Manchester United, where he first encountered issues during the 2021-2022 campaign. Unfortunately, the issues have worsened in the 2022-2023 season.
Since his high-profile return to United from Juventus last year went awry, Ronaldo, 37, has been determined to leave the club.
Despite scoring 24 goals in all competitions in the previous season, the Red Devils’ overall form plummeted, and they came in sixth place in the Premier League by a considerable margin. The drop in form forced United to drop to the Europa League, a situation which was not appealing to Ronaldo.
Fast-forward to the 2022-2023 season, less than two minutes to the end of Manchester United’s convincing two-goal victory over Tottenham last week, Ronaldo rushed down the tunnel at Old Trafford. Ronaldo’s action forced United’s manager Erik ten Hag to bench the star for the subsequent match against Chelsea last weekend.
His departure from Old Trafford is now expected to happen next year, possibly as early as the January transfer window.
The Portuguese great received harsh criticism for leaving the game, despite recommendations that he should take Messi’s example and manage his deteriorating reputation.
But in United’s previous eight Premier League games, Ronaldo has only started once, whilst the Argentine continues to play each and every game for Paris Saint-Germain when he is healthy.
Although Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has already spoken candidly about the player’s plight and suggested that he believed things might quickly turn around for good, Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford has just not worked out for either player or club so far this season.
After former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired in November of last year, Lionel Messi commented to Marca about Ronaldo’s situation and his comments are still echoing to this moment.
Messi said: “United are a very strong team with great players. Cristiano already knew the club, but that was at another stage and now he has adapted in an impressive way.”
The record seven times Ballon d’Or winner continued: “From the beginning, he has scored goals as always and had no problems adapting. In the Premier League, it is not as good as we all thought, but it is a very difficult and even competition in which things take a lot of turns. After December it changes a lot and anything can happen.”
Ronaldo’s situation at United appears to be getting worse as there is no sign that he will resume a starting position under Erik ten Hag, and despite Ronaldo’s efforts and United’s readiness to sell, no acceptable bidder is yet to be found for the Portuguese superstar, who will turn 38 in January.
With both players’ contracts scheduled to expire in 2023, it is likely that Ronaldo and Messi will switch teams once more the following year. Both superstars shifted clubs in the summer of 2021, but neither move has threatened to live up to their astronomically high expectations.
Chelsea may look into signing Cristiano Ronaldo in January
Chelsea may try to capitalize on the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has been the subject of discussion in almost all media outlets since he refused to play for Manchester United and departed the stadium before the final whistle against Spurs.
It is well known that Chelsea is interested in Ronaldo, and Todd Boehly’s pursuit of the star ultimately resulted in Thomas Tuchel’s departure from Chelsea.
In January, the blues might rekindle their interest in Ronaldo, giving him a way to leave Manchester United.
Kevin Palmer claims that Chelsea may rekindle their interest in signing the Manchester United star in the summer or do so in January.
The future of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United does not appear to be bright right now, and Chelsea may provide him with a path out.
Since Chelsea doesn’t have many choices up front and Todd Boehly wants that superstar acquisition, Cristiano Ronaldo might end up becoming a target for Chelsea during the forthcoming transfer window.