Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Manchester United in the summer on one condition after talks between his representatives and Richard Arnold, according to reports.
One of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo’s return to Man Utd prompted much excitement in the summer. More than a decade after leaving the club for Real Madrid, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner returned in a transfer from Juventus.
Some questions were asked of how he would affect the balance of the team and whether it was a short-sighted move. Intrinsically, though, the 36-year-old’s comeback at Old Trafford was a momentous move for the club.
Both parties reunited with the expectation of challenging for honours again together. But the first half of the season was complicated for United. It led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer losing his job as manager.
Ralf Rangnick replaced him on an interim basis until the end of the season. He has inherited a big task – and how he does may have implications for Ronaldo’s future.
According to The Sun, a meeting between Ronaldo’s representatives and new chief executive Arnold has led to the conclusion that the Portuguese ace will be allowed to leave the club if they do not qualify for the Champions League.
After 20 matches of the Premier League season, Man Utd are in seventh place. They need to catch up with the top four in the final few months of the campaign.
Ronaldo ready to leave Manchester United in summer if manager isn’t good enough
Ronaldo is ready to leave Manchester United if Rangnick replacement isn’t good enough
If not, they could risk losing Ronaldo one year ahead of schedule. He signed a contract until 2023 when he returned to the club and intends to keep playing until he is 40.
But he wants to do so at the top level and will therefore not be against moving on if United cannot guarantee him Champions League football.
Cristiano Ronaldo has Man Utd concerns
It would prompt another minor rebuild in the summer and raise further questions of the direction in which they are heading.
Ronaldo is said to be particularly concerned about a lack of intensity at Carrington. It is not what he was used to during his first spell with the club.
But there is still time for them to ensure his second stint lasts as long as it should. They will need to reverse their form though to keep him on side. If not, Ronaldo may be on the move again in 2022.
So far this season, he has scored 14 goals and provided three assists from 21 matches for United. His overall record for the club is 132 goals and 72 assists from 313 games. But if they cannot keep up with his ambition, he may only have six months to add to them.
Insider reveals Ronaldo feelings
Earlier this month, The Sun carried quotes from a source revealing how Ronaldo was feeling disillusioned already.
The source revealed: “Cristiano is very concerned about what is happening at United.
“The team is receiving a lot of criticism and he knows he is regarded as one of the leaders.
“There are quite a lot of problems and Cristiano is feeling the pressure and is very stressed by the situation.
“He desperately wants his United move to be a success. But he is starting to recognise that winning trophies with the current set up could be a real struggle.
“Jorge [Mendes, agent] came to see him and they spent time chatting through how things are going, what they think are the problems, how they might be solved and what the solutions may be.
“Nothing has been ruled out.”