The ‘king’ returns but Cristiano Ronaldo has new suitor casting shadow over Man Utd future

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Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected during the English FA Cup fourth round match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough Credit: PA Images
Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected during the English FA Cup fourth round match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough Credit: PA Images

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he will play for Manchester United in Sunday’s friendly with Rayo Vallecano amid ongoing rumours about his future.

The 37-year-old fuelled speculation that he wants to leave Old Trafford this summer by missing the club’s pre-season tours. He returned to training this week and headed straight for showdown talks with manager Erik ten Hag. The Dutch tactician is adamant that the former Real Madrid and Juventus ace is not for sale.

But the Portugal star’s agent, Jorge Mendes, suggested that Ronaldo is ‘adamant about leaving’. The veteran forward responded to the stories, with a post on Instagram suggesting he was fed up with the rumours.

Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly been involved in discussions and tried to calm the waters ahead of the new campaign. United are due to face Atletico Madrid in Oslo on Saturday and Ronaldo will play no part.

However, it seems as though he will make an appearance when the Red Devils face Los Franjirrojos at Old Trafford on Sunday.

On an Instagram fan page, he responded to questions about his pre-season absence by writing ‘Sunday the king plays’.

The superstar’s return to action will please the club’s fans but his future is still up in the air.

Chelsea have been linked and seem keen to sign the man with 117 Portugal goals if he is allowed to leave United. But another club has now emerged as an option to end his stay at the Theatre of Dreams.

Returning ‘home’ a possibility for Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s arrival back in Manchester was supposed to be the catalyst for an upturn in the club’s fortunes. He did manage to score 24 goals from 38 appearances in all competitions last term.

But, with rumours of discontent in the ranks, the north-west giants slumped to sixth in the table. There will be no Champions League football on offer in 2022-2023 and that has been cited as a major reason for Ronaldo’s itchy feet.

And it has been reported that Portuguese club Sporting are interested in taking the icon back to Estadio Jose Alvalade. He began his professional career with Verde e brancos, scoring five goals in 31 outings before joining United in 2003.

According to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook, the Primeira Liga side are considering a bid for their former star.

“I got told today there was genuine interest from Sporting Lisbon, who obviously are in the Champions League,” he told GIVEMESPORT. “That would fulfil his wish, but I don’t know if United would sanction that or not, to be honest.”

It is still unclear how the Ronaldo situation will play out this summer. There are mixed messages coming from his camp while the Sporting angle may be tempting to secure Champions League football.

However, the Manchester United fans who watch him in action this weekend will hope that the club’s hierarchy can persuade him to stay.

READ MORE: Man Utd transfer news: Eric Bailly deal becomes more ‘feasible’ for Serie A side he would ‘immediately’ choose

The article The ‘king’ returns but Cristiano Ronaldo has new suitor casting shadow over Man Utd future appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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