Erik ten Hag and Manchester United ultimately accept that Cristiano Ronaldo leaving may be better for the club in the long-term, claims a report.
Ronaldo shocked the Premier League when making his return to Old Trafford last summer. It looked as if Manchester City were going to sign him, but their city rivals nipped in.
And while Ronaldo top-scored for the Red Devils last term with 24 goals, his future has always been unclear.
The 37-year-old has one year left on his contract, but developments in recent days make it seem like his second spell at Man Utd is up.
Indeed, he has reportedly asked to leave if an interested party comes forward with a suitable offer. But United responded to those reports by insisting that Ronaldo was not for sale.
According to the latest from ESPN, though, there is an ‘acceptance’ at Old Trafford that the talisman leaving may be for the betterment of the club.
United sources informed the outlet that Ronaldo leaving would allow Ten Hag to properly mould his rebuild in his fashion.
Ronaldo’s presence and personality reportedly caused issues inside the United dressing room last season.
There was his eagerness to be the main man up top and reported heated debate over the captaincy with Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes.
And such ‘tension’, ESPN adds, is still lingering in the camp. Some players supposedly have a sense that Ronaldo has been waiting for the right time to let the club know he wants to leave.
There would also be a noticeable lack of reaction – for a player of Ronaldo’s stature at least – if he left United this summer.
Man Utd need to move on from Ronaldo
Ronaldo clearly feels unsettled at Man Utd and wants to move on. The lack of Champions League football at Old Trafford next season – following the club’s sixth-placed Premier League finish – is likely a big factor.
Ronaldo has made Europe’s premier club competition his centre stage, scooping five winners’ medals in his career.
It is also the competition which has driven him to five Ballon d’Or successes.
Ronaldo isn’t going anywhere
Erik Ten Hag has said Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale after Chelsea boss Todd Boehly met with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes to discuss the possibility of a deal.
United need every player, coach and member of staff to be on board with Ten Hag’s new project. Having a figure like Ronaldo somewhat not keen on the club’s new direction could have an adverse effect on other players.
Man Utd should therefore let him move on and bring in more youthful players who want to be at the centre of the club.
Nevertheless, United have to be careful about who they talk to Ronaldo about. Reports have linked Premier League rivals Chelsea with a swoop, which could turn out to be a bad move.