Cristiano Ronaldo was absent when most of the Manchester United players returned for pre-season training under new manager Erik ten Hag on Monday morning.
The Portuguese striker has informed the club that he wants to leave this summer to play in the Champions League.
It is understood that his absence from training on Monday was due to family reasons, and United accept this explanation.
United’s position on Ronaldo remains that he has one year left on his contract and is not for sale, despite his desire to leave Old Trafford.
Some United players – that is, those who did not participate in international football last month – began their pre-season schedule with Ten Hag last week, but on Monday morning the rest of the team arrived, except for Ronaldo.
“Manchester United wanted this week to mark important progress in the recruitment and form of the team ahead of the tour, but now it will be overshadowed by Cristiano’s show,” he said. Sky Sports News’ Melissa Reddy. “A distraction that Erik ten Hag and the club do not need and cannot spiral out of. Decision required.”
Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane were two of the players who arrived at Carrington at 9am on Monday, with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka starting training last week.
Another player also seen on Monday morning was the imminent signing of Tyrell Malacia, who is set to complete the second part of his medical ahead of his £13m move from Feyenoord. Left back Malacia will represent the first signing of the Erik Ten Hag era.
Ronaldo asks to leave United
Ronaldo wants to leave United this summer amid concerns he won’t be able to compete for the club’s biggest trophies.
The 37-year-old feels the need to win even more in the twilight of his career, but is understood to feel that it may not be possible at Old Trafford next season. The 2021/22 campaign was the fifth in a row in which United failed to win a trophy.
Ronaldo is also understood to be concerned that United have yet to make any improvements to the squad in the current transfer window. Thirteen players have left the club this summer but none have arrived yet.
Ronaldo greatly respects United, especially the fans, and is said to be “in love” with the club, but this upcoming season will be the first in his career that he will not play in the Champions League if he stays at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese international has never played in the Europa League, in which United will be in next season, and last played in its predecessor, the UEFA Cup, when he was with Sporting Lisbon in 2002/03.
But while Ronaldo is keen to leave, United have taken the stance that he is not for sale and expect him to finish out the remainder of his contract, which expires in the summer of 2023.
Saha: It is not a pleasant situation for United
“I am more worried about losing Cristiano Ronaldo [than Manchester United’s lack of transfer activity this summer]. Finding a new striker who will give you 25-30 goals will be difficult. This is something they should consider for a year.
“When you’re a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, you want to win the Champions League and break records there. Those are the kind of discussions you have when you’re a world-class player with these stats.”
“Man Utd as a club is below that level, they are not playing well and the manager is new, so maybe Ten Hag’s plan is medium term and Ronaldo’s short term plan is just one or two years in the game. higher level. That’s a conflict in a way.
“I’m not happy with [United fans asking Ronaldo to go] as Ronaldo has done his part. He has given some terrific performances and has been a leader and carried himself when times were tough and demanding.
“Asking for the plan to be taken into account and seeing that there are player signings at rival clubs is not pleasant.
“You have to look at other teams, Man City have done business that are really complementary and fit their plan very well. Arsenal today and other clubs have done their business.”
Will Ronaldo stay or leave United?
Speaking in early June, Ronaldo said he was “very happy” to remain at United and predicted they would bounce back from a terrible 2021/22 season.
But just a month later, the Portugal captain has changed his mind. sky sports analyzes the reasons for and against his possible departure.
Analysis: Who is Malacia’s imminent new signing?
Sam Blitz, football journalist for Sky Sports:
“Erik Ten Hag was known for his attacking philosophy at Ajax with some skillful passing – Malacia fits perfectly in these two areas of the pitch.
“Going forward, the 22-year-old completed more shots and takes than any other defender in the Eredivisie last season. Simply put, Malacia can beat his opponent and is experienced in producing the required end product.
“The Dutch international is also comfortable on the ball. Only Ajax’s Daley Blind touched the ball more times and completed more final passes than Malacia among all Eredivisie defenders. Malacia’s six completions are also a division record for the Dutch defenders, outstanding.
“And all this attacking play is backed up by some solidity at the back. No Eredivisie left-back completed more innings than the 22-year-old last season, while only the title-winning Blind managed to take more away from him. ball to the opponents”. times in the middle and third attacking than Malacia, which suggests a pressing mentality from the Dutchman”.