The iconic Manchester United number seven has made some interesting remarks over the course of what has been a miserable season for everyone associated with the Red Devils
Cristiano Ronaldo is the subject of increasing speculation touting him with the Old Trafford exit just one season after he made his triumphant Manchester United return.
The 37-year-old returned to the club where he made his name in the summer of 2021 and immediately picked up where he left off 12 years prior by being among the goals. If there were any fears United had signed an ageing player past his best, they were quickly eased with a brace on his debut.
In truth, the tables have turned so much since the start of the season that it appears Ronaldo is weighing up his options as a result of being one of the only positives in an otherwise dismal campaign for United. The former Real Madrid currently sits on 18 goals in the Premier League alone.
United were tipped by many to be well in the race for a first league title in nine years before a ball had been kicked this season, but instead saw their hopes of securing Champions League football quashed long before the final game of the season.
Ronaldo is famed for his win-at-all-costs attitude and has enjoyed a career littered with silverware. The fact that the current campaign will be his first in over a decade without a trophy at the end of it will not have passed him by and is likely to be a source of huge frustration.
At the turn of the calendar year, the ex-Juventus superstar gave an eye-opening interview in which he appeared to highlight the generational attitude difference that divides the United dressing room.
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“I do not want to be here in a club to fight for sixth place or seventh place or fifth,” Ronaldo declared. Five months later, the United legend is on course to be part of a side that can finish sixth at best, potentially slumping to seventh if results go West Ham’s way on the final day of the campaign.
The 37-year-old’s worst fears have been realised and United’s season could still get worse should they be leapfrogged by the Hammers and end up in the Europa Conference League next term. It is unthinkable that a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and player of Ronaldo’s calibre will be operating in European club football’s third best competition.
In turn, there may be mounting concerns among the United hierarchy that Ronaldo will not be willing to stick around for the second and final year of his two-year contract. It remains unclear which clubs would strike if the Portugal skipper made it known he wanted out of Old Trafford.
The imminent arrival of new boss Erik ten Hag may be enough to convince Ronaldo to stick around and the United forward has already discussed the Dutchman before he begins his reign as manager.
“What I know about him is he did a fantastic job for Ajax, that he’s an experienced coach, t hings need to change the way he wants. ” he told Manchester United’s official website.
“I hope we have success, of course, because, if you have success, all of Manchester is going to have success as well. I wish him the best. We are happy and excited, not only as players, but the supporters as well.”