Cristiano Ronaldo is free to leave Manchester United in January, according to James Ducker and Jason Burt of The Telegraph. Ronaldo is said to be looking for a move away from Old Trafford, and while Eric ten Hag wanted to keep him in the summer, he reportedly now will not stand in his way.
Cristiano Ronaldo Looking for Old Trafford Exit
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo can leave Manchester United in January
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 3, 2022
Denied a Summer Transfer, but Allowed to Leave in January
Ronaldo was reportedly looking for a transfer in the summer in search of Champions League football. Despite being linked with a series of elite European clubs, the only concrete offer was from Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal. The fact of the matter was, although admired worldwide, there are only a handful of clubs in world football that can afford the finances that would be involved.
Another stumbling block was the new incoming manager at Manchester United. Despite the persistent rumours, Ten Hag said that he wanted to keep the best players at the club. Rumours intensified once the season started, and with Ronaldo spending most of his time on the bench. But still, the manager insisted he was not looking for a new striker, and that he wanted to keep the legendary Portuguese figure.
Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo set to stay at Man Utd: “From the start we said we planned with Cristiano, it was clear. We are on the same page with him”. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
“We are happy with him, he’s happy to be here and we want to make the season a success together”. pic.twitter.com/gKGoyaEZ1t
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 31, 2022
A Changing Situation
Following Sunday’s poor showing in the Manchester Derby, there have reportedly been frank conversations taking place at the training ground. Although Ronaldo has remained fully professional this season, he is not happy with the situation. He has only started one Premier League game so far, which is a matter of huge frustration. He is said to be desperate for his form for the World Cup. After this latest case of being ignored in the starting line-up for a big game, he is looking to move on.
Other than his obvious love for Portugal, he has another reason for wanting to be in form for the World Cup. A strong showing could convince one of Europe’s elite clubs to make a move for him in January. This would allow him potentially more game time, but also to continue to compete with Lionel Messi in the Champions League record books. He is currently the record scorer, but with Messi still active in the competition, he sees it as a record under threat.
"Ronaldo has an argument for saying, ‘I’ve been the best player ever’ – he can sit with any group of players in the history of the game if they were still alive and argue that. So, the disrespect United are showing him now, It’s disrespectful not to use him." pic.twitter.com/Wpu2HtVH9o
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) October 4, 2022
The clubs more heavily linked in the summer were Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, and Chelsea. The most likely destination could be a switch to London, with new owner Todd Boehly looking for another striker signing. He has shown already that he is willing to spend big to get who he wants.
Over the summer Chelsea allowed several attacking players to leave, while only bringing in two. Boehly was keen to push for Ronaldo, but then-manager Thomas Tuchel did not want him. With a new manager in Graham Potter, the owner may try again to sign the legendary statement player he waned.