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SOCCER

Time running out for Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to find a new team before United’s Premier League return on Sunday 7 August.

Update:
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on July 31, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMAGetty

Cristiano Ronaldo played his first minutes of pre-season with Manchester United against Rayo Vallecano Sunday after returning to the first team squad on 26 July. The Portuguese forward has already told United that he wants to leave, but for the moment he has no choice but to stay in Manchester. The Old Trafford outfit start their season on Sunday 7 August against Brighton and Ronaldo would like to have his next destination decided by then.

Talks not advancing for Ronaldo

The player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has been holding meetings and talks with several top European clubs with the aim of finding a way out for the 37-year-old. Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern, Napoli have all been in contact with Mendes, however, talks have not yet advanced.

With less than a week to go until the start of United’s 2022-23 Premier League season, time is running out. All the indications are that the Portuguese star will have to resign himself to starting the season with United, although he is unlikely to play against Brighton based on the words of Erik ten Hag, who said on Sunday that he is far from optimal form.

Atlético and Napoli interested

The two most likely options for Cristiano to leave Manchester United at the moment appear to be Atlético, despite club president Enrique Cerezo’s insistence that he has denied any such interest, and Napoli, who are dreaming of signing the forward. Atlético need to make several sales to be able to afford his signing, Diego Simeone’s dream, while the Italian side are hoping he will eventually opt to play for the Serie A club. It remains to be seen if between now and the end of the transfer window any other suitors will appear to meet the Portuguese star’s expectations.

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