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Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly fears he’ll be stuck at Manchester United this summer. The Portugal international has told the Red Devils hierarchy he wants to leave, having grown frustrated with their lack of ambition. And more details regarding the club’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong have also surfaced, too, with Chelsea now being linked with the Barcelona star.
It was revealed over the weekend that Ronaldo wanted to leave United, less than a year on from his Hollywood homecoming from Juventus.
The Portugal international scored 24 goals across all competitions last term, saving the Red Devils from an even poorer campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
But Ronaldo’s goals weren’t enough to fire United into the Champions League, with the team finishing sixth in the table and qualifying for the Europa League instead.
The 37-year-old has never played in that competition over the course of his glittering career and, at this late stage, has no desire to.
But the Daily Mail say Ronaldo fears that he could end up being stuck at United, with concerns arising his hopes of leaving ‘are fading’.
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That comes after United doubled down and made it clear they want the veteran to see out his contract, which has a year left to run.
Chelsea have emerged as potential suitors for the former Juventus and Real Madrid star, particularly in the wake of Romelu Lukaku’s loan move back to Inter Milan.
Lukaku only returned to Stamford Bridge a year ago but struggled under Thomas Tuchel and spent half of the season seeking a return to Italy, where he previously flourished.
Yet United wouldn’t want to sell Ronaldo to a direct Premier League rival, regardless of the interest from Chelsea owner Todd Boehly.
Bayern Munich have played down talk of a deal for the United star, with Oliver Kahn saying on Thursday: “As highly as I rate Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the greatest, a transfer wouldn’t be a fit with our philosophy.”
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Bayern are poised to lose Robert Lewandowski, who is pushing to join Barcelona.
Even Barcelona themselves have been linked, despite Ronaldo being a legend of fierce rivals Real Madrid following a nine-year stint at the Bernabeu.
However, their financial situation makes a transfer difficult.
And a return to Italy has also been mooted, with Roma and Napoli two of the clubs credited with an interest in recent days.
The report adds that, regarding De Jong, United are yet to make a breakthrough in talks for the Barcelona star.
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Reports in Spain have now suggested Chelsea could hijack a deal, with the Blues determined to give Thomas Tuchel the best possible chance of winning major titles.
Yet it’s claimed the Blues would rather seal deals for Raheem Sterling and Raphinha first before pursuing the 25-year-old.
Regarding Ronaldo, former United star Louis Saha thinks news of the forward wanting to leave Old Trafford is a hammer blow for his old side.
“I’m more concerned about losing Cristiano Ronaldo [than Manchester United’s lack of transfer activity this summer]. Finding a new striker that is going to get you 25 to 30 goals, it’s going to be tough. This is something they need to consider for a year,” he said.
“When you are a player like Cristiano Ronaldo you want to win the Champions League and break records there.
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“Those are the kind of discussions you have when you’re a world-class player with these stats.
“Man Utd as a club is below that level, is not playing well and the manager is new so maybe Ten Hag’s plan is a middle-term one and the short-term one for Ronaldo is just one or two years at the top level. That’s a conflict in some way.
“I’m not happy with [United fans asking Ronaldo to go] as Ronaldo has done his part. He’s provided some terrific performances and he’s been a leader and behaved when times were hard and demanding.
“Asking to have consideration in terms of the plan and seeing there are players signing in rival clubs, it’s not nice.
“You have to look at other teams, Man City have done business that is really complimentary and fits really well their plan. Arsenal today and other clubs have done their business.”
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