Cristiano Ronaldo is not expected to report for Manchester United pre-season training today due to family reasons, as huge uncertainty over his future at the club lingers.
United have accepted the explanation for his absence. Ronaldo was due back for his first day of pre-season under Erik ten Hag on Monday but will now delay his return.
The news of delayed return comes days after he told the club that he wants to leave should they receive a suitable offer amid his concerns that the club is not moving forward quickly enough.
Ronaldo will hold talks with Erik ten Hag upon his return as he looks to resolve his future.
Ronaldo ‘still has an affinity for the club’ but at this stage of his career wants to be playing in the Champions League and does not see that happening at United.
Ronaldo has played 19 consecutive seasons in the Champions League, becoming the tournament’s all-time top goal scorer with 141 goals. No player in history has featured in more Champions League matches than Ronaldo (183) as well.
But while Ronaldo wants to leave, United have no intention of selling him and have yet to receive an enquiry. They have underlined that the striker remains under contract and hope that he sees that out.
Despite the player’s agent Jorge Mendes meeting different clubs over recent weeks there is also a limited market for a player on around £480,000 a week.
Ten Hag has been talking to all United players as he welcomes them back to training and will be keen to sit down with Ronaldo to understand his frustration, particularly as they are due to leave for their pre-season tour of Asia and Australia on Friday.
The Dutch coach had planned for the Portuguese superstar, last season’s top scorer with 24 goals, to be part of his strikeforce for the new campaign and United’s transfer strategy has reflected that.
While Ronaldo’s future is yet to be resolved, Ten Hag is on the cusp of completing his first signing as United boss.