Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United has been thrown into doubt in the last couple of days, despite the 37-year-old having one year remaining on his contract at the club.
United’s talisman scored 24 goals in all competitions last season and was named in the PFA Team of the Year but could not stop his side from missing out on a place in the Champions League.
That could have affected his thought process ahead of this summer, with reports on Saturday suggesting that Chelsea have held talks with Ronaldo’s representatives to explore a possible transfer.
A return to boyhood club Sporting Portugal has also been touted as a possibility in the last couple of years, with Ronaldo’s mother believed to be in favour of such a move.
The Portuguese giants have now distanced themselves from that, with the club’s sporting director insisting that Ronaldo returning to the club is unrealistic at this point.
“I think not now – I don’t think it is possible, but you never know. He can decide where he goes, but you never know the future. I don’t want to talk about that, but he has another year on his contract so whatever he decides, let’s see,” Hugo Viana told Sky Sports, via The Mirror.
“It is time for Man Utd to stabilise, to create a good spirit inside the club. I think it is not what’s happening now, but there it always time to rebuild. With Cristiano, of course, there is a player who scores 25 goals per season.”
Speculation surrounding Ronaldo’s future will have been poorly received by Old Trafford chiefs, with the club insisting that their superstar forward is going nowhere this summer.
The failure to qualify for the Champions League will have dented both Ronaldo and United’s position this summer but Erik ten Hag will be desperate for the Portuguese international to fulfill the final year of his contract.
United are already scrambling to put the pieces together across the rest of the team and having to force the issue by signing a replacement for Ronaldo would be a nightmare.