Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly requested that Manchester United let him quit Old Trafford this summer, if the club receives a satisfactory offer for him.
A report from The Times claims that the 37-year-old’s decision is largely driven by his desire to carry on playing in the Champions League after the Red Devils failed to qualify for the competition last term.
United finished a hugely disappointing sixth in the Premier League, only good enough for a Europa League spot.
The Portuguese legend has spent 19 consecutive campaigns playing in European football’s premier cup competition. Indeed, Ronaldo has scored 140 goals and added 42 assists in 183 Champions League appearances.
The prolific forward has never played in the Europa League. That is something that would be a first if he does see out another season in Manchester.
The former Real Madrid star still feels he has ‘three or four years’ left at the highest level of the game. And the report adds that he wants to be at a club capable of adding to his achievements.
Bayern Munich and Chelsea have both been linked with the United talisman. Indeed, the German champions could replace like for like if Ronaldo replicates the goals output of Robert Lewandowski.
Barcelona are still trying to strike a deal for the Poland star, although that is proving tricky.
As for Chelsea’s interest, new co-owner Todd Boehly is said to have met Ronaldo’s representatives Gestifute last month in hope of securing a deal for the serial Champions League winner.
If he is allowed to move on then United will want to recoup the £12.9million they paid for Ronaldo.
Bayern probably a better fit for Ronaldo
If the unthinkable does happen for United and Ronaldo walks then a move to Germany appears to make more sense.
The Portugal legend has never played in the Bundesliga, so gets to tick a box of another top European league conquered – assuming he carries on doing what he’s been doing for nearly 20 years.
He would also not be expected to be the first line of defence at Bayern. That would certainly not be the case under Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.
The German expects his forward players to work hard off the ball and press. That is something that irked Ronaldo under Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford last season.
But the older Ronaldo gets, he needs to be allowed to purely focus on his remarkable ability to score goals.
It now just remains to be seen how much truth there actually is in The Times‘ report.
If there is, then add another top striker to the list of players Erik ten Hag needs to bring in this summer.