Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly asked to be allowed to leave Manchester United.
All in all, it’s led to a will-they-won’t-they scenario where United’s woes made you suspect that Ronaldo might leave, but the exciting new project at Erik ten Hag made you wonder whether he’d see out his contract.
Ronaldo asks to leave Man Utd
But now, Duncan Castles has exclusively revealed in The Times that it does indeed look as though Ronaldo will be angling for an exit from the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The report explains that Ronaldo has asked United to be allowed to leave the club on the proviso that they were to receive a ‘satisfactory offer’ for his services in the summer transfer window.
It’s claimed that Ronaldo’s decision is driven by a desire to see out his career playing Champions League football, believing that he has ‘three or four years’ at the highest level to win major trophies.
Bayern Munich are said to have paused interest in a potential move for Ronaldo while they wait for a resolution to Robert Lewandowski’s future.
A potential return to Serie A has also been touted as an option for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Close friends reportedly believe that Ronaldo’s love and support for United remains as strong as ever, but that he also holds personal reasons for wanting to leave with his family said to have experienced a difficult time.
Ronaldo’s United comeback
Ronaldo returned to the Old Trafford club, for whom he played between 2003 and 2009, ahead of the 2021/22 season having spent three years in Italy with Juventus.
The Portuguese superstar collected the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award by scoring 24 goals in 38 games, including six strikes from seven matches in the Champions League.
However, United were unable to retain their position in Europe’s top-tier competition due to a sixth-place Premier League finish to go with their embarrassing FA Cup and Carabao Cup exits.
And while it’s now all change at Old Trafford with Ten Hag set to bring in a whole new era at the club, Ronaldo clearly isn’t willing to spend a season in the Europa League now that he’s 37 years old.
It’s an understandable position when you consider the ticking clock of what is generally a short career, but that won’t make it any less gut-wrenching for the United fans who have welcomed back their hero.
We will now have to wait and see whether the Red Devils do indeed receive a ‘satisfactory’ offer or not and what that might mean for the next step in Ronaldo’s legendary footballing journey.