Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Cristiano Ronaldo: Sporting boss breaks transfer silence as Atletico Madrid fans make desperate plea against signing

Cristiano Ronaldo, Man Utd, during Premier League game v Brentford at Brentford Community Stadium

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim has broken his silence on claims that his side are in the running to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, amid claims his preferred next club is closing in on a deal.

The Portuguese superstar looks likely to depart Old Trafford barely 12 months since his return. While he did well on a personal level, scoring 24 times in 38 appearances, he was unable to help the club do better than a sixth-placed finish. That leaves United facing a season in the Europa League, a competition Ronaldo has rarely played in over the years.

Indeed, the lack of Champions League football, together with a lack of progress on the transfer front, has seemingly led to Ronaldo making his exit wishes clear.

That creates a major headache for new manager Erik ten Hag, though one observer reckons he may actually be secretly delighted.

Either way, Ronaldo looks likely to be spending the 2022/23 season away from Old Trafford. And reports in Sunday’s Transfer Gossip claim he could be allowed to leave on a season’s loan if he makes a new commitment to the club first.

With his agent Jorge Mendes working on securing him a move, several sides have been linked with his signature. That said, many of those quickly closed the door on his potential signing. As such, the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, nor Chelsea will be in the running for his signature.

Now, though, another of those sides, Sporting Lisbon, have also distanced themselves from speculation suggesting Ronaldo is a target.

Cristiano Ronaldo claims silenced by Sporting boss

Reports last week claimed Ronaldo’s first professional club could provide a home for the player on loan. Amid claims that talks were advancing, their boss Amorin has now spoken out to play down the suggestions.

“Is Ronaldo a chance? I already heard that, I don’t read anything, I don’t see anything. For me the reality is different, it’s keeping my players,” he said, via Record.

One of his star men, Matheus Nunes, has been linked with Liverpool. And Amorin insists his focus remains on keeping his star men in the Portuguese capital.

He added: “I’m happy that Matheus Nunes is still here. I’m happy that Sporting’s players, as Matheus Nunes, reject offers that would change their lives to stay at Sporting. This is my reality, I am very happy with my squad and my players are the best in the world.”

Meanwhile, it does appear increasingly likely that Ronaldo’s next club might be Atletico Madrid.

They look the main contenders for his signature, with Diego Simeone reportedly fully behind a controversial deal.

However, news that Ronaldo could be signing has not gone down well with their supporters. Indeed, there have been online petitions set up making clear their thoughts about his potential signing.

A number of their fans have circulated pictures of Ronaldo’s face with a big ‘no’ symbol across his face.

And an online campaign called “#ContraCR7” on Twitter, which translates to “#AgainstCR7”, is beginning to gather serious momentum.

Furthermore, supporters groups have also spoken out against the prospect of his signing.

Ronaldo decision needs to be made

Whatever the outcome, Ronaldo will want his situation sorting out sooner rather than later.

The speculation is an unnecessary distraction for Ten Hag, who has found his summer tricky enough without this complication.

As such, he will hope a final decision can be made soon that clarifies the player’s future for everyone.

Jorge Mendes optimistic about Ronaldo to Atletico Madrid

Jorge Mendes is optimistic about Cristiano Ronaldo sealing a move to Atletico Madrid this summer.

Should he depart, Manchester United will need to sign a replacement. To that end, RB Salzburg’s Benjamin Sezko is the latest striker to be linked.

Ten Hag has spoken about Cristiano Ronaldo recently, with the United boss playing down his absence from their pre-season tour.

“Concerning is maybe not the right word,” he said of Ronaldo’s absence. “I focus on the players who are there and they are doing really well.

“They are in good shape and I have further focus on that and develop that. I cannot wait for him to come in and then we will integrate him.”