Cristiano Ronaldo is said to be looking for a way out of Manchester United which leaves mixed emotions about his second stint at the club if he does depart for potentially greener pastures for the final years of his career.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United for the second time in last season’s summer transfer window and many United fans had to pinch themselves to see if they were dreaming.
This transfer seemed to be fuelled by emotions as the board of directors arms seemed to be twisted by the rumour that the Portuguese marksman could have been heading across the city to arch-rivals Manchester City.
Although many critics questioned the footballing sense of the deal, due to Ronaldo’s age, financially it proved to be a Midas touch as the United shirt with ‘Ronaldo 7’ on the back quickly became the fastest selling top in Premier League history.
The Red Devils made £13.1 million back from shirt revenues alone which basically paid for the transfer fee.
Much to nobody’s surprise Ronaldo lived up to the hype. Scoring two on his second debut in a 4-1 riot of a victory against Newcastle; this was just a glimpse of the scoring beacon he would become as he tried to drag a mediocre and unmotivated United team up the league.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals and when he scored them could be seen as a sole reason for how United pitifully limped to a Europa League spot and they were lucky to do that because without him up top, the sleeping giant of a club would have been stranded in the depths of midtable.
Unfortunately though, he is just one man on a team of 11 and although he is the greatest of all time, he’s not a miracle worker.
Due to little fault of his own, ‘Mr Champions League’ crashed out of Europe’s elite competition, as Manchester United were defeated by Atletico Madrid in the round of 16.
United wouldn’t have made it to the knockout stages without Ronaldo, though, as the no. 7 scored six goals in seven games including dramatic, point winning strikes against Atalanta and Villarreal which propelled the club to the next round.
Ronaldo wasn’t just given the nickname ‘Mr Champions League’, he earned it by being the competition’s all-time top goalscorer with 140 goals in 183 games, which is insane.
He’s also won the tournament a staggering five times, which shows that it would be wrong if this moniker was given to anyone else.
For the first time in 20 years, Ronaldo, if he stays at United, is set to play in the Europa League which doesn’t feel right.
This shows the seismic difference between the class and quality of Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United at the moment as the player could still slide into a trophy winning team and not look out of place at 37 years-old, whereas, the club are going into their 10th year of rebuilding and chasing the glories of the past.
If reports from Manuel Sainz from the AS are true, with the journalist’s positive connections with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes it certainly has weight behind it, then the only thing that can be taken from this second stint is that Manchester United let Ronaldo down.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a behemoth of a man and could easily continue playing well into his 40s but at the same rate he didn’t win five Ballon d’Ors by being at a non-competitive team.
If Manchester United fail to sign any of their marquee targets like Frenkie de Jong or Antony then Liverpool and Man City will be in a different solar system of quality to the Reds, let alone planet.
Some reports also suggested that the legendary striker is not a part of the new manager Erik ten Hag’s plan for the squad, however, this contradicts what the Dutchman himself has said during press conferences where he sounds eager to work with the 37-year-old.
An uncertainty of game time could be another factor as to why Cristiano Ronaldo is looking towards the exit.
This could be the end of the United chapter of Ronaldo’s illustrious career and if it is, although it will break many United fans’ hearts, you can’t blame him.
Fans should thank him for coming back and being the only light of hope in a very dark and depressing time at Manchester United.
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