Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United has dominated headlines this summer after the 37-year-old asked to leave the club in July and subsequently missed Erik ten Hag’s first pre-season tour.
Despite speculation surrounding Ronaldo’s future, the club have maintained all summer that their talismanic forward is not for sale.
United have now reportedly softened that stance and could now be ready to let him leave after a disastrous start to the season, with Ronaldo featuring in defeats to Brighton and Brentford.
That’s according to the BBC, who say that United could now let Ronaldo leave due to concerns over how his demeanor is affecting the squad morale at Carrington.
As per the report, senior figures at the club have been ‘alarmed’ at the rapid spread of negativity following their successful tour of Thailand and Australia, which saw Ten Hag’s men win three out of four games and display courageous attacking football.
Since then, United failed to win their final two friendlies of pre-season and are now bottom of the Premier League ahead of next week’s clash with Liverpool.
It’s claimed in the report that Ronaldo is seen as a negative presence at the club and does not communicate with his team-mates. And additionally, sources have admitted to fearing that little will change unless the forward leaves this summer.
United’s stance earlier this summer was understandable – they did not want to burden the transfer department with yet another position to strengthen but most importantly, they wanted to keep their top goalscorer.
The start of the season has shone the light on Ronaldo’s negative presence and their willingness to grant his wish to leave is correct, but the U-turn should have come earlier.
Ronaldo has been a symbol of United’s failings but another issue remains – there are no concrete offers for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. A departure by mutual consent could suit all parties.