Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United is still up in the air and with the Premier League curtain-raiser against Brighton just 14 days away, he is yet to take part in any training under new manager Erik ten Hag.
The 37-year-old asked to leave the club last month and did not join the squad on their tour of Thailand and Australia, with Anthony Martial now expected to lead the line for Ten Hag in the game against Brighton.
Ronaldo has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Bayern Munich but that has been ruled out, with Atletico Madrid now presenting the most realistic destination for the superstar forward.
Now, journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on the situation, insisting that Ronaldo still wants to leave and that his agent, Jorge Mendes, is working on an exit.
“There is nothing going on with Sporting Lisbon – this story was a fake news. The situation has remained essentially the same for the last 20 days: Cristiano wants to leave, Erik ten Hag waits to have a conversation with him to try to change his mind,” Romano told CaughtOffside.
“Manchester United are waiting for answers from Cristiano to understand when he can return to training, but Jorge Mendes keeps working on solutions: Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea have been approached but there are no evolutions yet.”
The advantage of taking part in pre-season cannot be understated and perhaps the best evidence of that has been Martial’s progress this summer.
Martial scored in three of his four appearances and looks to be completely rejuvenated under Ten Hag. If Ronaldo ends up staying, he will join the squad with considerably less preparation and it risks harming the squad harmony.
As things stand, Martial is deserving of starting the game against Brighton regardless of what happens with Ronaldo.