Media reports suggest that Manchester United’s veteran superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has asked to leave the Red Devils this summer. The 37-year-old’s motives for leaving the men from Manchester seem to be that he fears he will not win major trophies with the club.
However, United seems reluctant to allow Ronaldo to leave and has told the ageing striker that he must honour the last year of his contract.
A decent return to Old Trafford
Ronaldo returned to Manchester United after a stint with Italian giants Juventus last summer. Despite being in the twilight of his career, the Portuguese star still shined at times. He scored 24 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions, which is a decent return by any player’s standards.
Ronaldo was never going to hit the same number of goals as he did in the prime of his career during his time at Real Madrid. However, he did his job, often dragging United through challenging games with his goals.
Concern about United’s prospects
So, back to Ronaldo’s worries about not winning a major honour. The club have appointed a new head coach for next season, the highly-rated Dutch boss Erik ten Hag. The former Ajax boss has a massive job resurrecting the club’s flagging fortunes.
Not only did United fail to win a trophy last season, their fifth straight season without silverware, but they also failed to qualify for the Champions League. The latter is necessary if they are ever to return to the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
The appointment alone of Ten Hag will not turn things around at Manchester United, as things have not been rosy for a long time in Manchester.
Ronaldo is concerned that United has yet to strengthen their squad in the summer transfer window. The Red Devils are being linked with several players, including Frenkie de Jong, Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Antony and Lisandro Martinez. Most players linked with a move to Manchester have previously worked with Ten Hag.
It is difficult to tell how many players the Red Devils need to progress. It is also unknown how many they will sign this summer. The fans seem to lack confidence in the club’s hierarchy to get the job in the transfer market this summer. It is not as if their recruitment has been a roaring success in recent windows. They will need a solid window to even challenge for a Champions League spot in the new season.
Ronaldo leaving could be a blessing in disguise
While United may not want to sell Ronaldo, the veteran leaving may well be a blessing in disguise. If Ronaldo is at the club, the head coach must pick him. That gives new United boss Ten Hag a massive problem, which means he does not have much tactical flexibility in how his team plays.
No doubt Ronaldo is an intelligent enough footballer to adapt, but will the new United boss want the Portuguese star’s ego in the dressing room when attempting to instil his football philosophy into his new players.
It will be interesting to see how this situation develops over the summer. Undoubtedly, having an unhappy Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad would not help the situation, though, that’s for sure.
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Will Cristiano Ronaldo still be at Manchester United at the start of the Premier League campaign?