LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock request to leave Manchester United threw Erik ten HagThe Portuguese star’s plans are turned upside down as he scrambles to contain the fallout from the Portuguese star’s power play.
Just a year after returning to United in a blockbuster move from Juventus, Ronaldo has already become so disenchanted that he is trying to force his way out of Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old has reportedly told United he wants to be sold. His agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly held talks with Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Napoli as he searches for a club that can fulfill Ronaldo’s ambitions.
Ronaldo’s frustration mounted throughout a turbulent campaign that saw United go through three managers as they finished a disappointing sixth in the premier league.
Although Ronaldo was United’s top scorer with 24 goals in all competitions, his side ended the season without a trophy and failed to qualify for the Champions League.
The prospect of playing in the Europa League is hardly appealing for a five-time Ballon d’Or winner who has lifted the Champions League trophy five times.
Ronaldo has a year left on his contract and United insist the former Real Madrid striker is not for sale.
Ten Hag had expressed his excitement at working with Ronaldo but may have to plan for a future without his most decorated player.
If Ten Hag had hoped to persuade Ronaldo to drop his transfer bid, the former Ajax boss will not have been encouraged by the star’s absence when the rest of the United internationals arrived for the start of the game on Monday. their pre-season training program.
United are due to fly to Thailand on Friday for their tour of Asia and Australia.
If Ronaldo misses the trip, it would seem almost certain that his second stint at United is destined for an abrupt end.
New Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly is said to be intrigued by the idea of ​​starting a new era at Stamford Bridge with the signing of Ronaldo.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel would be quite so willing to make the move after Ronaldo’s turbulent first season in Manchester.
While Ronaldo’s quality as a finisher remains unmatched, he has rarely shown signs of wanting to engage in the high-speed pressure play that caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick was hoping to deploy.
Ronaldo’s lack of mobility and questionable work ethic reportedly convinced Rangnick to tell United director of football John Murtough to sell him during the January transfer window.
This request was not granted and Ronaldo remained a shadowy presence around the club for the rest of the season.
He publicly clashed with Rangnick after being substituted in a game at Brentford, amid reports of problems between the star and United captain Harry Maguire.
Ten Hag will surely be aware that life with Ronaldo rarely goes well and may even wonder if he would be better off without the distractions that surround the star.
Manchester City and Liverpool are currently light years ahead of United and for Ten Hag to turn them into contenders for a first English title since 2013, he needs to clean up a squad that turned toxic last season.
The departure of divisive Paul Pogba was a step in the right direction and Ten Hag hopes to put his stamp on the team with several signings in the coming days.
Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen has reportedly signed a three-year contract, with Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia set to sign.
Ten Hag are also pursuing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong and Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.
These deals would be encouraging but, more importantly, Ten Hag must resolve Ronaldo’s dilemma without letting an unstable situation spiral out of control.

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