Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United forward travelling back to England for talks over future

Cristiano Ronaldo is travelling back to England for talks with Manchester United over his future, The Athletic understands.

Ronaldo is yet to work under new manager Erik ten Hag as he missed United’s pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia, citing family reasons.

The 37-year-old is expected in Manchester on Monday and will hold discussions with United, having informed them of his wish to leave this summer if a suitable offer arrives.

United’s stance remains that Ronaldo is not for sale and he will be an important part of their squad in the 2022-23 campaign.

It is unclear at this stage if he will train with United on Tuesday, but he is expected to have face-to-face dialogue with Ten Hag in the coming days.

His return is believed to be viewed by the Old Trafford club as a positive sign.

Sources around the matter suggest it is increasingly likely that Ronaldo remains at United, but there is still a lack of clarity about the situation.

United’s players were given Monday off after flying back from Australia, but will report back for training on Tuesday ahead of their final two games of pre-season.

The Athletic reported earlier this month that Ronaldo had told United he would like to leave if a suitable offer was made.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly met with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes to discuss the situation and the idea of the forward moving to Stamford Bridge. The west London side have since ruled out a move for Ronaldo.

Ten Hag was asked on several occasions if he could provide an update on Ronaldo’s future during United’s pre-season tour but he stressed the situation had not changed and that he was not for sale.

Ronaldo has 12 months remaining on the contract he signed when he rejoined United from Juventus last summer. There is also an option for a further year which Ten Hag believes could be exercised.

Ten Hag, speaking in Melbourne on July 18, said: “I am well informed, he also has also an option (of another year).

“Yes (he could stay beyond this season), but to be honest, of course, I have signed here for three years, but in football it’s short-term as well. We have to win from the start. So I don’t look that far ahead.

“I have a strategy, it’s a process, it takes time but in the end, we have to make sure from the outset there is a winning team.”

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions last season, finishing as United’s top scorer, but was unable to help them qualify for the Champions League.

A lack of Champions League football this coming season, and the determination to fight for trophies, is thought to be part of the reasoning behind his desire to leave.

The forward wants United to be competitive at the highest level and is said to be keen for them to match his ambition by strengthening the squad.

United have made two signings so far this summer with Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen joining the club. Lisandro Martinez has also agreed to move to Old Trafford from Ajax.

Ten Hag’s side open the new Premier League season at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on August 7.

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