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Report: Cristiano Ronaldo asks to leave Manchester United; Chelsea link returns

Man United fans have become frustrated by the club's lack of big transfers this offseason, but how much of it has to do with Erik ten Hag's transition to Manchester?

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly asked to leave Manchester United if they receive a suitable offer for him this summer, and the Portuguese star has now not turned up for the first day of preseason as links with a move to Chelsea have reemerged.

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Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, did not arrive at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground for the first day of preseason. Ronaldo is still in Portugal and has yet to return to Manchester and Sky say that United aren’t sure whether or not Ronaldo will turn up for the preseason tour.

Why hasn’t Ronaldo turned up?

The reports say there are ‘family reasons’ why Ronaldo hasn’t returned on time and that the club are happy with that reason and all is well. On top of all this, Chelsea have once again been linked with a move for Ronaldo as The Athletic says that talks are going on between Blues chairman Todd Boehly and Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, with Thomas Tuchel key in deciding whether or not the west London club should make a move for Ronaldo.

In reality, this all slots in with Ronaldo reportedly asking to be sold this summer if an acceptable offer arrives. He has just one year left on his contract but the club are apparently unwilling to sell him and plan on him being around this season. That said, according to The Independent Ronaldo is willing to take a huge pay-cut just to get his move.

What is going on?

Ronaldo has been linked with moves to several top teams in recent weeks as doubts persisted over whether or not he would fit into the system of new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. It appears those doubts could spell the end for Ronaldo’s second spell at Manchester United.

A report from The Times states that Ronaldo wants to leave United this summer as the report says he wants to return to play in the UEFA Champions League and challenge for trophies.

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After this initial report came out, our partners in the UK at Sky Sports state that Manchester United do not want to sell Ronaldo and have no interest in letting him leave.

The legendary striker scored 24 goals in all competitions for Manchester United in their dire 2021-2022 season but despite his heroics in front of goal, many questioned if his playing style and personality had an overall negative impact on the Red Devils.

Where could Cristiano Ronaldo go?

He will never be short of suitors and several Premier League and top Europeans clubs have been linked with a move for the Portuguese star, which seemed to suggest this was only going one way this summer.

Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Roma, Sporting Lisbon and Inter Miami are just a few of the teams Ronaldo has been linked with early this summer and The Athletic believes that Napoli could be another potential destination for the legendary striker.

A report from Spanish outlet AS also claims that Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been in talks with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes about a sensational move for the Real Madrid legend. Surely not!? That craziness aside a move to Chelsea or Bayern Munich seems most likely.

With Chelsea needing a new center forward after loaning out Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Tuchel keen to sign a clinical finisher, perhaps new joint-owner Todd Boehly really wants to make a statement in the transfer market? That said, it would be tough to see United selling Ronaldo to Chelsea, a direct top six rival in the Premier League.

More likely is that Ronaldo could head back to Italy or even go to Bayern Munich as they look for a solution to replace Robert Lewandowski, who wants to join Barcelona. Despite his age pretty much every top European team will want to sign Ronaldo if they can make it happen and with just one year left on his current contract, his transfer fee will be relatively low.

Simply put: Ronaldo is Ronaldo and he will always be wanted as long as he’s still playing. His return to Manchester United hasn’t quite worked out but he can now point to the change in managers, philosophy and direction of the club as to why he decided to move on.

How did we get to this point?

Ten Hag’s arrival at Manchester United was always going to usher in a new playing style and a new era at Old Trafford.

His playing philosophy of fluid attacking play with interchangeable midfielders and forwards simply doesn’t suit Cristiano Ronaldo anymore.

Ronaldo has realized this and instead of being surplus to requirements this season and spending plenty of time on the bench ahead of the World Cup, he is ready to take his talents elsewhere. That could be a blow to Erik ten Hag if he was going to count on Ronaldo, as he said in his introductory press conference, so this may already be a big disappointment for the Dutch coach if he wanted to rely heavily on the veteran star.

This report coming out just before United are due to head away on their preseason tour of Asia and Australia makes perfect sense as Ronaldo clearly doesn’t want to head away on preseason and would prefer to get his next move sorted out.

With United scheduled to fly away for their tour in the coming days, it is clear that Ronaldo is having serious doubts about the Erik ten Hag era and wants a move. Most of United’s squad returned to training last week and other international players (aside from Ronaldo) arrived on Monday morning to being preseason. In the next few days we are about to find out if this saga will take another twist as reports suggest ETH will sit down with Ronaldo and try to work out any issues he has about the season ahead.

Does this actually make sense for United?

If he does leave Manchester United this summer it will be a sad way for his much anticipated second spell at the club to end.

Ronaldo will always be a hero at Manchester United but perhaps this is the best way for him to move on and remain a legendary figure.

However, for Manchester United’s new manager ETH, letting Cristiano Ronaldo go is probably a smart move on many levels.

He will not have to deal with constantly answering questions as to why Ronaldo isn’t playing and he can now focus fully on players who fit his system better as he tries to rebuild the club.

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