Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo is looking to leave the club in January.
According to The Telegraph’s Jason Burt in a blast exclusive, the 37-year-old is eager to depart Old Trafford in search of first-team minutes and Champions League football.
According to Burt, while Erik ten Hag was initially reluctant to let the striker go, the Dutch manager will not stand in Ronaldo’s way if a suitable offer comes along.
Burt reports: “When Ten Hag carried out an investigation into United’s Carrington training on Monday in which players and staff were encouraged not to mince words about Sunday’s chaotic 6-3 loss to Manchester City, Ronaldo’s future was back in the spotlight after he went on the bench.”
“Ten Hag has been cautious whenever the subject of Ronaldo has been raised, but the United manager is believed to be willing to let the 37-year-old leave in the winter window if an acceptable offer is made.”
“Having wanted to stay with Ronaldo when he first took over, Ten Hag has been calmer about his departure since the player made it clear he wanted to leave.”
If Ronaldo continues his efforts to leave in January, this would not be the first time he has tried to do so in recent memory.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was hell-bent on leaving the 20-time English champions in the summer but was unsuccessful in his attempts.
The only club that was seriously interested in him was the Saudi club Al Hilal.
With Anthony Martial back from injury, Ronaldo’s minutes are likely to be even more limited.
Even in the absence of the Frenchman, who is Ten Hag’s choice to lead his attack, the coach preferred to deploy Marcus Rashford. The latter is predominantly a winger in the forward position, in a show of distrust towards the former Real Madrid star.
United have been criticized for their treatment of Ronaldo by sections of the fan base and the media. Club legend and former captain Roy Keane criticized the club for disrespecting one of the greatest players of all time.
However, it would be hard to argue against the player getting their move if one were feasible. It would be in the interest of all parties and stop the endless debates about his role in an underperforming team.