By Liam Morgan and Simon Jones for Mailonline
10:17 29 Jul 2022, update 10:40 29 Jul 2022
- Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken publicly about his future for the first time
- Ronaldo stunned United by telling the club he wanted to leave this summer
- The 37-year-old’s options appear limited as he seeks Champions League football
- Ronaldo responds to fan account’s Instagram post to deny ‘lies’ about him
- It is thought he was directly referring to a claim about Sir Alex Ferguson
Cristiano Ronaldo has denounced ‘lies’ over his future as he spoke out for the first time since telling Manchester United he wanted to leave the club this summer.
In a cryptic message in response to a fan account on Instagram, Ronaldo hit out at the media destination amid intense speculation over his next move.
“Impossible not to talk about me one day,” wrote Ronaldo. “Otherwise, the press does not make money. You know that if you don’t lie, you can’t get people’s attention. Keep going until one day you get good news.
The Portuguese star ended the post with a crying face emoji and a laughing emoji.
sports mail understands Ronaldo was referring to a claim in the fan account post that Sir Alex Ferguson had intervened in a desperate attempt to persuade the player to stay at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo and Ferguson enjoyed a close relationship – the 37-year-old called the legendary manager a father – and the pair exchanged pleasantries when they were both at Carrington.
Ferguson was at the training ground for a previously scheduled board meeting but the 80-year-old Scot’s presence prompted suggestions he was involved in Ronaldo’s situation.
Ronaldo breaking his silence follows reports that agent Jorge Mendes is working on a sensational return to Sporting Lisbon for the player.
Ronaldo dropped the bombshell earlier this summer and his future was a dominant theme at the start of Erik ten Hag’s tenure at Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old wants to join a team playing in the Champions League, a competition United failed to qualify for after finishing a disappointing sixth in the Premier League last season.
But the list of potential suitors slowly shrank over the window, with Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid turning down the chance to sign Ronaldo.
Bayern have admitted they have considered bringing the player to the Bundesliga, while Atletico have been linked with a move despite club president Enrique Cerezo calling a deal “virtually impossible”. Atletico ultras have also protested against any offers for the United striker.
According to The Athletic, talks have taken place with Sporting Lisbon, the club Ronaldo left to join United in 2003.
Sporting would tick a number of boxes as they are in the Champions League having finished second in the Primieira Liga.
Athletic, however, report that Sporting head coach Ruben Amorim has reservations about signing Ronaldo. It’s also unclear whether the Portuguese side’s wages could afford £360,000 a week.
Mendes also reportedly informed the club that Ronaldo, who is contracted at United until June 2023, has a ‘live offer’ and a transfer fee is to be named for his star.
Ronaldo and Mendes held confrontational talks with the United hierarchy this week, where he reiterated his desire to leave Old Trafford for the second time.
The club had hoped to win Ronaldo but talks failed to change his mind – although he will continue professionally.
The player is unlikely to feature in United’s friendly with Atletico Madrid in Oslo tomorrow as he continues to work on his fitness after missing most of pre-season after the club granted him a extra time to deal with a family problem.
United are set to fly to the Norwegian capital later today ahead of the game against the LaLiga side, but Ronaldo is expected to stay at home.
But the 37-year-old Portuguese could play a role in United’s friendly with Rayo Vallecano, their final pre-season game, at Old Trafford on Sunday.
If he were to play against the Spanish side, where United are expected to field a second-tier side, it would be the first time he played under Ten Hag after missing out on the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.
United have firmly insisted they have no intention of selling Ronaldo, who only returned to Carrington on Tuesday, and have received no requests for their star man.
Ronaldo underwent medical tests and then trained on Wednesday before watching his team-mates in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Wrexham.
He worked hard in the gym after being excused from the tour and as a result, Ronaldo wasn’t immersed in Ten Hag’s ways until the new season and will have to be reinstated gradually.
The Dutchman spoke to Ronaldo for the first time this week. Ten Hag has underlined the Portuguese’s importance to his team despite wanting to go out the door at Old Trafford.
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