Cristiano Ronaldo joins his Man United team-mates for training as Erik ten Hag sweats on Anthony Martial’s fitness
Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived for training at Manchester United’s Carrington base only days out from the start of the Premier League campaign.
The Portuguese star wishes to depart the club this summer in search of Champions League football with the former Real Madrid star still harbouring hopes of claiming his sixth European Cup.
Arriving at training in his Rolls Royce, Ronaldo was photographed driving through the Carrington gates.
Ronaldo made his Manchester United return over the weekend against Spanish outfit Rayo Vallecano, with the Portuguese playing for 45 minutes before departing the ground before the end of the 90 minutes.
His appearance in the pre-season friendly raises the prospect of Ronaldo being thrown in straight away against Brighton on Sunday. The forward did not travel on the club’s pre-season tour which went to Asia, Australia and then finished in Norway but could have an important part to play from the start of the season.
What was meant to be an important summer of rebuilding under Erik ten Hag has been somewhat dominated by the circus surrounding Ronaldo’s future.
Since it first emerged that he wished to depart all the way back at the outset of the window, various clubs have been touted to be chasing his signature before appearing to distance themselves.
Atletico Madrid, with whom Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes enjoys a solid working relationship, were the latest club to be linked but those rumours were soon squashed.
United themselves initially refused to comment on the saga, but have since clarified that they have no issues with the Portuguese. Their preference is for the forward to remain at the club this season.
Ronaldo, who only returned to the club last summer after departing in 2009 for Real Madrid, wishes to remain at the pinnacle of the game and lucrative offers from the Middle East or the United States do not appear to have piqued his interest quite yet.
Meanwhile, Ten Hag has been left sweating over the fitness of Anthony Martial just five days out from their Premier League opener.
The Frenchman picked up an injury in United’s 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in pre-season, leaving the pitch after an hour holding his hamstring.
Having fallen out of favour last season and sent on loan to Sevilla, Martial might have expected to depart the club this summer but he instead played a prominent role in pre-season and is likely to play a key role in Ten Hag’s plans moving forward.
Goals against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace have offered some encouragement that Martial could become a major player for United again after a number of seasons in which he struggled to match his early promise.