Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Cristiano Ronaldo suitors break silence on Man Utd raid and admit signing is a ‘dream’, but key concern emerges

Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo

A European club linked with the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted his arrival would be a ‘dream’, although they look set to pull out of the race due a big worry over the Manchester United star.

Ronaldo and his agent, Jorge Mendes, are looking at exit options as the striker’s relationship with manager Erik ten Hag deteriorates. Ronaldo was left out of Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea after departing the ground before full time in the previous match.

The 37-year-old is now back in senior Manchester United training and is hoping to feature in their upcoming game. The Red Devils host Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Ronaldo and Ten Hag seem to be at breaking point. Ten Hag has little interest in playing Ronaldo up front due to him not suiting the Dutchman’s preferred style of play.

Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was a wonder for Man Utd fans last summer. But it has now turned into a nightmare for pretty much all parties involved.

A few teams could take him off Man Utd’s hands in January. Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is keen to complete the superstar signing, partly because of Ronaldo’s colossal brand.

One thing stopping Ronaldo from moving to Stamford Bridge would be Graham Potter. He has other strikers in mind, such as Jonathan David and Ivan Toney.

According to a recent report, Ronaldo’s most likely destination is now Italy. And Napoli appear to be the frontrunners to land him.

Club issues response to Cristiano Ronaldo links

Some sources have talked up a possible return to Sporting Lisbon for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Ronaldo made 31 appearances for them before moving to Man Utd in 2003.

Sporting boss Ruben Amorim has now broken the club’s silence on the Ronaldo rumours. He says the player’s return would be a ‘dream’ for everyone at the Portuguese club.

However, the main stumbling block for a transfer is the goalscorer’s huge wage demands. At Man Utd he apparently takes home an eye-watering £385,000 per week.

“I don’t know. Ronaldo is a top player – a Manchester United player. Everyone in Sporting dreams of the return of Cristiano,” Amorim said before Sporting’s visit to Tottenham on Wednesday (via Goal).

“So I don’t want to speak about that. He is a top player and will be for a few more months. We don’t have the money to pay his wages.

“He is happy in Manchester but he’s not playing so that’s the problem. I have my problems with some Sporting players so it’s Ten Hag’s problem.

“I’m happy with my players – no problem at all at the moment – I just want to beat Tottenham.”

Ronaldo going back to Sporting is definitely a possibility if his Man Utd struggles continue and a Napoli switch falls through. However, he will have to take a pay cut to achieve a Sporting move.

Their current highest earner is reportedly loanee Francisco Trincao, who picks up £65k a week. Sporting will stretch their finances somewhat to accommodate Ronaldo, but it’s unlikely he would earn more than £100k per week if he joined.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag’s transfer plans could leave two Man Utd superstars out in the cold, according to one source.