Cristiano Ronaldo held talks over his Manchester United future with boss Erik ten Hag on Tuesday, as both Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich ruled out a move for the striker.
The 37-year-old arrived at United’s Carrington training ground with his agent Jorge Mendes on Tuesday morning for talks.
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also seen arriving at the executive, but it is understood he was there for a regular board meeting with chief Richard Arnold.
Ronaldo returned to the UK on Monday after missing the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia for family reasons, with the explanation accepted by the club.
Ten Hag admitted he was unclear about the situation ahead of the tour – but Ronaldo is now back in United’s setup after training away from the team for weeks.
The Portugal captain has told United he wants to leave this summer amid fears he won’t be able to compete for the club’s biggest trophies.
But United’s stance on Ronaldo’s future has remained unchanged: United are ready to entertain Ronaldo’s offers this summer, Sky Sports News understands, but the club’s public position remains that he is not for sale.
Ten Hag told Bangkok that Ronaldo, who has one year left on his contract with United, is in his plans for the coming season and expects him to stay at the club.
“We are planning Cristiano Ronaldo for the season and that’s it. I can’t wait to work with him. Cristiano is not for sale. He is part of our plans and we want to succeed together,” said the Dutchman.
“He’s not with us and it’s because of personal issues. I spoke to him before this issue arose. I had a conversation with him and I had a good conversation. It’s between Cristiano and me. What I can confirm is that we had a very good conversation together. I didn’t speak to him after (the news).
Atletico and Bayern both rule out signing Ronaldo
Both Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich have declared themselves out of the running to sign Ronaldo.
Atletico were linked with a move for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but their president Enrique Cerezo has described a move for the Real Madrid icon as ‘virtually impossible’.
“I’ve said it many times before, I don’t know who made up Cristiano’s story but I’ll tell you that it’s practically impossible for him to come to Atlético de Madrid,” Cerezo told reporters. Tuesday, via Cope’s Partidazo.
“Rumors are rumors and they have to stay as rumours. If you keep fueling rumors, it will end up looking like something real, which it isn’t.”
Meanwhile, Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn has said that despite initial considerations and even after losing star striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, the Bundesliga champions will not pursue a move for Ronaldo.
Earlier in July, Kahn told the German magazine Kicker that Ronaldo does not fit the club’s recruitment philosophy, and he reiterated the remarks in an interview with Image.
“We discussed Cristiano Ronaldo internally, I consider him one of the greatest players of all time,” Kahn said.
“Then we came to the conclusion that, despite Cristiano’s appreciation, he wouldn’t fit our philosophy in the current situation.”
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.
“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.
“This offer from Saudi Arabia is astronomical but in the end 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.
“Everyone has their strikers already, and Chelsea, who are the only club that seem to have the potential to be spun by what Cristiano Ronaldo offers off the pitch, because we were told that Mendes, while being ahead of those clubs, was doing put forward his numbers in terms of influence on social media, sponsorship he garners, commercial gain from his shirt sales and things like that.
“So it really doesn’t leave much choice for Ronaldo. We know he wants to compete at the highest level, so if he goes to Saudi Arabia it goes against everything he’s said and of everything we really know about him and his career.
“Manchester United have always been very calm and very comfortable. They insisted he was not for sale, and he will see the last year of his contract. We will see how they maneuver now, but Ronaldo stays fit, so they have no issues, no issues or fears as to what condition he will report in pre-season.”
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