Man Utd: £18m striker now 'one to watch' at Old Trafford

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag watches on

The future of Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘still one to watch’, according to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth.

Ronaldo made his desire to depart Old Trafford for the second time in his career clear over the summer and could finally get his wish in the upcoming January transfer window.

What has Sheth said about Ronaldo?

Duncan Castles reported back in July that the 37-year-old was eager to seek pastures new just 12 months after making his return to United in order to play for a Champions League club.

Sky Sports then revealed that Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes had been offering his client’s services to Napoli, but a deal could not be reached between the relevant parties.

Consequently, the Portugal international stayed put in the red half of Manchester, and he has had to settle for a fringe role within Erik ten Hag’s first-team squad in the opening weeks of the season.

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Ronaldo, who is valued at £18 million, has started just once in the Premier League so far in United’s humiliating 4-0 defeat to Brentford with Marcus Rashford preferred to lead the line instead.

And with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s £480,000-per-week contract set to expire next summer, he appears destined for an imminent exit.

What has Sheth said about Man Utd?

United have been linked with signing a new striker in recent months, and Sheth has informed GiveMeSport that he believes ‘much will depend’ on the future of Ronaldo.

He said: “I think much will depend also on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo. United maintained that he wasn’t going anywhere, that he was not for sale, and low and behold, he has remained at Manchester United.

“So, with that situation, I think that’s still one to watch, simply because Ronaldo, as far as we’re aware, still wants to play Champions League football, which he obviously isn’t going to get this season that Manchester United.”

Who could Man Utd sign?

The speculation around Ronaldo’s future led to United being linked with a move Napoli’s Victor Osimhen in the previous window, and it’s possible that Ten Hag could rekindle his interest later down the line.

Italian outlet CDS (via the Manchester Evening News) claimed that the Serie A outfit were willing to sanction Nigeria international’s departure on loan if specific criteria were met.

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It was stated that Napoli were insisting any deal for Osimhen included an obligation to buy him for €100 million (£86m) at the end of it and they received Ronaldo on loan in return.

United will most likely be forced to buy Osimhen outright in the future, but the clinical finisher could prove be a wise investment should he make the switch.

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