Manchester United to seek Cristiano Ronaldo clarification as new transfer stance emerges

Erik ten Hag discusses Cristiano Ronaldo's future

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Manchester United are seeking clarification on when wantaway star Cristiano Ronaldo will return to training. The Portugal captain has not been seen with the United squad since he asked to leave the club earlier this month, missing the entirety of their pre-season tour of Australia and Thailand.

The Red Devils flew back to Manchester on Saturday after their 2-2 friendly defeat by Aston Villa Down Under. Erik ten Hag has given his players Monday off before they are expected to be back in training on Tuesday. Ronaldo is not expected to join back up with the squad having spent all month in Portugal citing family reasons. 

Now the Red Devils have been urgently seeking clarification as to when the forward will return to Carrington in order to help prepare for the upcoming season. 

The United boss tried to dodge questions about the 37-year-old’s training status when questioned on Friday, preferring to talk about players on the tour. “I focus on the players who are there, they are doing really well, they are in good shape, I prefer to focus on that and develop that,” he said. “I cannot wait for him to come in, then we will integrate him.”

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This comes alongside news about the club’s stance on letting the player go. The Mirror has reported that the club would be open to letting him leave on loan on the condition that he signs a one-year contract extension and promises to return to the club next season. 

Ronaldo’s exit options appear to be limited after strikerless clubs Bayern Munich and Chelsea ruled out a deal. However, Atletico Madrid are said to be interested in bringing him to the Metropolitano. A move would send shockwaves around the footballing world given the public rivalry the Portugal international fostered with the club’s fanbase while at Real Madrid. 

He is highly unlikely to start the first game of the season regardless of whether or not his transfer situation is sorted out. Ten Hag is likely to call on Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho who have all enjoyed a strong pre-season.

Ronaldo only rejoined United 11 months ago in a sensational transfer from Juventus. He scored 24 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils but some pundits have argued that he made the team worse by causing the side to become imbalanced. However, the Old Trafford faithful will still be reluctant to lose a club legend given the goals he guarantees. 

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