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Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to open the door: why the top scorer wants to leave Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo

This Saturday, the footballing world was shocked by the high-profile news that Manchester United’s leader and top scorer last season, Cristiano Ronaldo, wants to change his club registration this summer and has informed the Mancunian management of this, which has been confirmed by many authoritative sources, including Fabrizio Romano, David Ornstein, The Times and others.

Ronaldo made an emotional and sensational return to Old Trafford last summer. At that moment, if you remember, many fans of the “red devils” managed to accept that their favorite will join the main rival in the person of Manchester City, which was confirmed by all the top transfer insiders. Everything changed literally within a few hours, and the long-awaited return of Cristiano to the red part of Manchester took place.

But despite the 37-year-old Portuguese’s impressive season from an individual perspective, Manchester United were left to settle for sixth place in the Premier League. As well as having to live with the prospect of missing the Champions League for the 2022/23 season, the Mancunians have once again failed to win a single trophy and made a managerial change, bringing in Erik ten Haag from Ajax Amsterdam.

At the time, there were some fears that the ambitious Ronaldo would want to leave after a failed team season, but the Portuguese has spoken publicly of his willingness to work under a new manager and stated his aim to help United return to Europe’s top clubs.

Why did Ronaldo’s mind change in the radically opposite direction and he wanted to leave?


In this regard, the reasons are very simple and clear, and sometimes even banal. There is no doubt that Ronaldo has a strong emotional connection with United in his second spell at the club. He previously played there from 2003 to 2009, winning the Premier League three times, the Champions League once and his first Ballon d’Or.

However, if he stays, next season will be the first in Ronaldo’s career that his team will not compete in the Champions League. This is a problem for such an ambitious professional who has won the most prestigious European Cup as many as five times and personally has the mentality of a winner, but is gradually approaching the end of his football career as a player.

When you’re 37 years old, you realize that you don’t have many chances to fill your trophy room with new team and individual awards. Let’s repeat that Manchester United did not seriously fight for trophies last season, which was a huge disappointment for Ronaldo himself and a blow to his own ego.

In the wake of all those failures last campaign, Ronaldo expected a drastic and noticeable change with the appointment of Erik ten Hag as head coach, although he admitted that the Dutch specialist will need some time to settle. But so far, Manchester United is quite passive in the transfer market in terms of signing new players. The Mancunians’ first transfer of the summer will be Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia, but strengthening that position has never been a priority in the market for the Devils, especially with Luke Shaw and Alex Telles in the squad now.

The main problem is that United have not yet strengthened the center of the field, where a “hole” was formed after the departure of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic as free agents. Right now, Frankie de Jong is a priority for the Devils, but negotiations with Barcelona have been problematic. In addition, Ajax’s versatile centre-back Lisandro Martinez is expected to be in a fierce battle with London’s Arsenal, winger Antoni is being linked with incredible sums, and Christian Eriksen is in no rush to move to Old Trafford on a free agent basis and wants to consider all available offers.

Manchester United can be understood in this regard. The management of the “Red Devils” has repeatedly wasted money and spared millions on transfers of new players, but now the club’s strategy in this matter has changed somewhat. Mancunians no longer want to make mistakes with multi-million transfers, act more cautiously and pragmatically, so as not to experience financial failure again. Manchester United still have time, but Ronaldo doesn’t have that much time. The construction of a new project under the leadership of ten Haag may last more than one season, and the results are unlikely to be instantaneous. The 37-year-old Portuguese, who has seen almost everything in his career, understands this perfectly. It’s not that he doesn’t want to wait that long. He simply cannot do it purely because of the lack of his own career time.

Does Manchester United want to sell Ronaldo?

Of course not. Manchester United hope that Ronaldo will serve out the year remaining on his contract. Selling the experienced forward this summer was absolutely not part of the Red Devils’ plans and they will certainly try to convince him to stay.

When ten Hag took charge of United, he, you could say, dispelled the rumors and directly stated that he was counting on Ronaldo: “Cristiano is a giant. He has already done so much, but I think Ronaldo is still an incredibly ambitious person. I would like to keep him in team, of course. He has become a very important figure for Man Utd this year and can continue to produce excellent statistics.”

Erik ten Hag

Ronaldo was also happy that the Dutch specialist will lead the club: “I know about ten Haag that he did a great job at the head of Ajax and that he is an experienced coach. But we still have to give him time to realize your ideas into life.

I hope that under his leadership we will succeed. Because if every player reaches a new level, then the whole of Manchester United will feel better too. I wish Ten Haag all the best. We are excited about the cooperation, not only as players, but also as fans of the club. Let’s believe that next year we will win trophies.”

Will there be interest in Ronaldo from other top clubs despite his age?

There is no doubt about it. Cristiano may have become less mobile as he got older and did significantly less running work on the pitch, but his goal-scoring flair and ability to score goals, especially the big ones, have not gone away.

Last season, the Portuguese was Manchester United’s top scorer, scoring 24 goals in 38 matches, often single-handedly picking up a positive result for his team (for example, against Villarreal in the Champions League or against Arsenal and Tottenham in the EPL).

Also last campaign, “Mr. C” became professional football’s all-time leading goalscorer, breaking the record held by Josef Bitsan. Even at the age of 37, Cristiano became the third top scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals, second only to Son Heung-min and Mohamed Salah.

In recent seasons, Ronaldo’s goal performance has hardly experienced any noticeable declines. He scored 28, 37 and 36 for Juventus during his three campaigns in Italy. Ronaldo is also largely injury free. According to Transfermarkt, he has missed only 19 days due to physical injuries in the last two seasons, which is simply phenomenal for a player of his age.

Who is interested in signing Ronaldo?

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boley met last month with soccer agent Jorge Mendes, who represents Cristiano. One of the topics discussed was the idea of ​​Ronaldo moving to a London club.

At this stage, it is unclear whether Chelsea will want to take up the opportunity. A few days ago, the “blues” agreed to send Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan on a one-year loan, and it is not yet known whether they will look for a replacement for him or will bet on the available personnel in the form of Kai Havertz, Armando Broy and Timo Werner.

The possibility of signing Ronaldo has also been discussed with reigning German champions Bayern Munich, who are at risk of losing Robert Lewandowski this summer due to interest from Barcelona and the Pole’s desire to continue his career at the Camp Nou.

There are also options for returning to Italy. There have been reports of interest from Napoli, as well as rumors of a possible reunion between Cristiano and Jose Mourinho at Roma. PSG, who parted ways with Angel Di Maria this summer and are not averse to selling both Mauro Icardi and Neymar due to his impressive personal contract, shouldn’t be written off either. On the eve of the World Cup this fall, Ronaldo’s transfer would be a nice bonus and a good publicity stunt for the Qatari owners of PSG.

But on the other hand, Ronaldo’s transfer will benefit Manchester United’s young attacking players. The same Marcus Rashford or Jadon Sancho will have the opportunity to take on the role of the “first violin” and the leader of the team’s attack, and the promising Anthony Elanga or Amad Diallo will be able to count on more playing time.

As we can see, there are certain advantages for Manchester United from parting with Ronaldo, but in the current situation, they absolutely do not cover the potential negative consequences.

Are Ronaldo’s fears about Manchester United’s passive work in the transfer market justified?

Completely justified. If we look exclusively at the situation in the Premier League, only Chelsea, which has changed owners, and Manchester United have not seen a serious strengthening of the real contenders for the Champions League zone.

Manchester City have completed the high-profile signing of Erling Holland and are also finalizing deals for Calvin Phillips and Marc Cucurella. Liverpool spared no expense on the prolific Darwin Nunes and extended the deal with Salah. Tottenham have signed Richarlison, Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissum, while Arsenal will soon announce the signing of Gabriel Jesus, have already signed one of Europe’s best creatives in Fabio Vieira and are working to strengthen other positions, including rivaling Man Utd for Lisandro Martinez.

Other European championships are also full of work. So, Real Madrid intercepted the talented defender Aurelien Chuameni from United and strengthened the center of defense with Antonio Rüdiger, who joined as a free agent. Barcelona, ​​in turn, have an agreement with a number of players in various positions, including Rafinha Diaz, Franck Cassier and Andreas Christensen. Inter has already presented Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Andre Onan. Bayern have strengthened each of their lines with the signings of Sadio Mane, Ryan Gravenberg and Noussair Mazraooui, while PSG have done the most important thing for themselves by extending the contract of Kylian Mbappe.

The same Dortmund quickly found a replacement for Holland in the person of Karim Adeyemi, and the ambitious English clubs Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Ham strengthened the center of the defense, not sparing serious sums for Sven Botman, Diego Carlos and Nayef Aguerda, respectively. Everton didn’t have to pay Burnley compensation for their defensive leader and the team’s most expensive player, so James Tarkowski ended up joining the Toffees on a free agent. But United remains silent for the time being, when competitors are strengthening their squads one by one.

Against all this, it is easy to understand why Cristiano Ronaldo has such a hard time keeping calm. Perhaps, with his “attack”, which eventually became public, the Portuguese wanted to make it clear to the management of Manchester United that it is time to act more decisively, more aggressively and more actively in the transfer market, thereby loudly declaring his ambitions to at least return to the Champions League.

Ronaldo is a winner by nature, but Manchester United’s work to strengthen the squad so far this summer is nowhere near what Cristiano wants to see from a club with a winning mentality. Especially from a club that failed on all fronts last season.

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