Cristiano Ronaldo will not fly to Thailand with the Manchester United squad on Friday for pre-season after being given time off to deal with personal issues.
Just last week reports emerged that Ronaldo had asked to leave the club over concerns regarding Manchester United’s ambition, leading many to speculate if the 37-year-old is looking to force a move away from Old Trafford.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been absent from Erik ten Hag’s training sessions at Carrington all week long, and was spotted at the Portugal national team’s training facility instead.
Manchester United’s new home kit for the 2022/23 season was launched on Friday morning, and a special Adidas advert for the launch featuring Ronaldo alongside legends such as Eric Cantona and David Beckham was pulled by United due to concerns over his future.
Manchester United new kit launched using imagery of players including Cristiano Ronaldo.
But special Adidas advert of Ronaldo with Eric Cantona + David Beckham held back amid uncertainty over his future.
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) July 8, 2022
In his first season back at the club since his high profile departure in 2009, Ronaldo was named Manchester United’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year after registering 24 goals across all competitions.
The Portuguese international scored 18 of those in the Premier League which ranked third for the 2021/22 season, behind only Mohamed Salah and Heung min Son who shared the Golden Boot.
However, despite an impressive individual season it has become apparent that United are unable to match Ronaldo’s ambition and with time running out before the end of his career, he would like a new challenge – preferably at a Champions League side.
Potential suitors for Ronaldo include Chelsea and Bayern Munich, however it is believed that the Portuguese international will need to take a significant pay cut in order to make the switch away from Old Trafford.
The Bundesliga champions are expected to offload Poland international Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, with Ronaldo open to filling that void under Julian Nagelsmann and competing for a sixth Champions League title.
Elsewhere, former Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria have agreed deals with Ronaldo’s former side Juventus on free transfers as the Serie A giants look to reclaim the league trophy from Milan.