Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo dug himself a deeper hole after an outburst refusing to play during Manchester United’s victory against Tottenham on Wednesday. The world saw the Portugal international head down the tunnel and exit the field before the final whistle. On Friday, manager Erik ten Hag confirmed Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute.
The move by the 37-year-old striker forced ten Hag to leave his superstar out of the Chelsea match this weekend. Now, Ronaldo is training with the U-21 side for Manchester United.
When asked how the conversation went between the two, ten Hag claimed that he was crystal clear about what he expects from his players. “The talk is between Cristiano and me,” said ten Hag. “The statement is clear. It is also in the statement that he remains an important part of the squad.”
“I am the manager, I am responsible for the culture here. I have to set standards and values and have to control them. We are in a team.”
It looks increasingly more likely that Ronaldo’s days at United are numbered. A plethora of rumors link the star with big clubs across Europe. In the summer, those moves extended across the world. Based on the form of the player and his enjoyment of the game, Ronaldo clearly wants out from Old Trafford. January seems the most logical timing, with former clubs Sporting and Juventus in the mix. However, would the aging striker be worth the headache?
Cristiano Ronaldo outburst has transfer rumors swirling
Other substantial European outfits such as AC Milan, Napoli, and Marseille previously expressed interest. Now, all three took their names out of the hat for Ronaldo’s services. Aside from attitude issues, financial concerns are also detracting teams as well.
Reports estimate Ronaldo rakes in roughly $535,000 per week at United. Few clubs around the world could take on that kind of contract. Nevertheless, assuming both parties want to experiment to end, a mutual agreement to cancel the massive contract could be in the cards. Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a similar development last season. It allowed the Gabon international to rediscover form at Barcelona.
One possible way Ronaldo can attract bigger European clubs is to have a stellar World Cup. Portugal is currently ranked eighth in the world by FIFA and have a chance to go far in the tournament. A deep run in Qatar could possibly make more clubs interested in approaching Ronaldo.
If this isn’t the case, a possible move to Inter Miami could very well work as well. Owner David Beckham is obviously close with Ronaldo. With Gonzalo Higuain retiring, Miami potentially has space for the Portuguese.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images
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