Cristiano Ronaldo: Erik ten Hag insists the Manchester United striker isn't even close to being fit

Cristiano Ronaldo: Erik ten Hag insists the Manchester United striker isn’t even close to being fit

Cristiano Ronaldo is far behind the rest of the Manchester United squad in terms of fitness, says Erik ten Hag, with games needed to bring the striker up to standard.

Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes met United at Carrington on Tuesday but his stance remains unchanged and he wants to play for a club in the Champions League and win major trophies.

United don’t want him to leave, however. The Portugal international, who has one year left on his contract with United, did not join the squad for their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia and was not included in the squad for the loss Saturday’s 1-0 friendly against Atletico Madrid in Oslo.

He suggested on Instagram that he would feature in United’s final pre-season friendly against Rayo at Old Trafford, saying: “Sunday the King play”.

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Following continued speculation over his future, Cristiano Ronaldo says he will be available against Rayo Vallecano this Sunday

“Tomorrow he will be in the team,” Ten Hag told Viaplay after his team lost. “We will see how long he can play”

“I can’t say right now (how fit he is). He’s not at the level of the rest of the team because he’s missed a lot of weeks. But he needs games and he needs training, a lot.”

His potential options elsewhere are limited. Chelsea are no longer an option, while Bayern Munich and Atletico appeared to publicly rule themselves out this week.

Atletico fans displayed a banner reading ‘CR7 not welcome’ during a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

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Watch Manchester United take on Atletico Madrid in their final pre-season friendly

Is Ronaldo running out of options?

Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:

“As we’ve seen on Instagram, Ronaldo has stayed fit so Manchester United aren’t worried about his fitness or his physical level; he’s one of the fittest players in world football.

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Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth has the latest on Cristiano Ronaldo’s future and a possible return to Sporting Lisbon

“At the end of the day, Ronaldo has declared his desire to leave Old Trafford, but he’s running out of options, and it looks like he’s going to have to stay. Maybe he’ll try to tip it where the pay cut is. 25% in his contract will be waived by United, maybe he wants to maneuver and beef up a new deal, we’ll have to wait and see.

“Chelsea walked away from a deal for Ronaldo, as did Bayern Munich, Napoli and many other elite clubs that Jorge Mendes, who is Ronaldo’s agent, tried to sell him to.

“An offer from Saudi Arabia is astronomical but ultimately it doesn’t give Cristiano Ronaldo what he wants, which is that legacy. He wants to achieve Champions League records that he thinks no one else will be able to reach in the future.

“He wants to sign at the absolute top level. Now it looks like he will have to stay at Manchester United because there are no big club biters.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo still wants to leave Manchester United after talks this week. His stance comes as Atletico Madrid fans unveil a banner protesting the prospect of signing him

United are not giving up on De Jong | Open to Bailly offers

United not giving up on signing Barcelona Frankie de Jongand are comfortable with the wide-ranging deal they have with Barcelona – worth £72million including add-ons.

The club will have its own time frame to complete a deal before activating moves for other targets. Sky Sports News have been told United are keeping alternatives ‘hot’ if a deal for De Jong doesn’t materialise.

United are also interested in the Ajax striker Anthony in this transfer window but not at the price Ajax want.

The club is open to offers for defenders Eric Bailly and Alex Telles.

There has been interest from Fulham, Trabzonspor and Serie A in Bailly. United would prefer a sale or at least a loan with an obligation to buy.

Telles’ playing time will be even more limited next season following the arrivals of Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez, but there are no concrete offers yet.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window closes in 11 p.m. on September 1?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Hub blog at Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up on the ins, outs and analysis at Sky Sports News.

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