Cristiano Ronaldo could still depart Manchester United this month with Turkish outfit Fenerbahce reportedly working on a deal for the veteran striker.
The Portugal striker was benched for the third straight game in Thursday’s win over Leicester. Once again, like he did against Southampton, the 37-year-old appeared in the 68th-minute to replace goalscorer Jadon Sancho.
Ten Hag made it clear on Thursday that Ronaldo was part of his thinking this season. The Dutchman has always publicly stated he has no desire to sell the striker.
Ten Hag insisted the pair “are on the same page” and that Ronaldo “will fit in” at Old Trafford. And he emphasised that again after the win at the King Power Stadium.
“It is really early in the season,” Ten Hag explained when asked about Ronaldo being benched. “We have a squad, more than a starting XI. We are raising a team, they are sticking together, they fight for each other, cooperate. Now we have to step up further.”
Whether or not Ronaldo quite sees it that way is unclear. But the player’s agent Jorge Mendes has been trying all summer to get him out of the club.
That has been unsuccessful to date and with the transfer window closing for the majority of Europe’s big leagues it was expected to be the end of the saga.
However, Turkey’s summer deadline is not until September 8 and there is plenty of time for a deal to be done.
Ronaldo has been pushing for a move away from Old Trafford with Champions League football on his agenda. He even claimed to tell the “truth” in a laid-bare interview and accused the media of “telling lies”.
But with no transfer for Ronaldo the tell-all interview remains on hold.
There is one option on the table though for Ronaldo, according to Ajansspor.
The Turkish outlet claim Fenerbahce president Ali Koc has “reached an agreement in principle with Ronaldo”.
A face-to-face meeting between the pair has taken place with Fener now trying to put the finishing touches to a deal.
Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus also met with his compatriot Ronaldo and “convinced him” to sign for the Istanbul club. The source claim “the transfer bomb of the century will be detonated”.
Fener though are not in the Champions League. They were knocked out of the European competition with a 2-1 loss at home to Dynamo Kyiv in July.
Ronaldo or Batshuayi?
That may well be a sticking point for Ronaldo, who has put that desire as his driving force to leave.
Fener have been shrewd though and with pretty much all avenues closed for Ronaldo they have made their move. Whether they have the financial muscle to secure Ronaldo is unclear. And whether they have the sporting pull is another debate. But the player certainly di not look too happy at Leicester on Thursdaynight.
Fabrizio Romano claims that Fenerbahce are also keen on signing Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.
Nottingham Forest failed with a late move in the window for the Belgian after Chelsea failed to send the paperwork in time to the Premier League new boys.
A move for Batshuayi would certainly be more believable, given his previous loan spells with Borussia Dortmund, Valencia, C Palace and Besiktas.