Manchester United are willing to sanction Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit this summer but on one significant condition. With just two weeks left until the 2022/23 season starts, the 37-year-old striker is still looking to leave United in search of Champions League football.
And according to the Mirror, he will be allowed to leave if a suitable escape option arises, but only on a season-long loan. United are ready to accept Ronaldo’s exit for a second time, but they will only happily do so if he agrees to trigger a one-year extension in his contract and return next summer.
The Red Devils hope Ronaldo would be up for a last dance in 2023/24 if they successfully qualify for the Champions League in Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge. And the Portuguese icon has been informed they will agree to his request to leave if he considers triggering the clause in the two-year contract he signed when returning to Old Trafford last summer.
Ronaldo is working closely with Jorge Mendes and has remained in Lisbon while the super-agent scours Europe for potential suitors, with talks with Bayern Munich and Chelsea already taking place. But despite both clubs opting against a move, the report adds that Atletico Madrid are interested in accommodating his return to the Spanish capital.
Ronaldo’s current market value stands at £27million, despite his age, after he netted 24 goals in all competitions last term. And understandably, United are eyeing a loan deal rather than a permanent transfer after receiving no offers worth considering.
Ronaldo and Mendes are understood to be surprised by the proposal but haven’t yet rejected it, with the former determined to play at the top level for as long as possible. It’s a move that would undoubtedly go down well with the club’s leading sponsors, with shirt sponsors Team Viewer ‘disappointed’ he wants to jump ship after just one season.
The club’s hierarchy isn’t expecting Ten Hag to work wonders in the final campaign in his mega-rebuild, but there is confidence in a top-four finish. That, or Europa League glory, would secure a return among Europe’s elite and could persuade Ronaldo to accept a final swansong.
United will likely return to Carrington on Monday or Tuesday after they land back in England from their successful pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia on Sunday. And although Ten Hag will be planning another two weeks of intense training to prepare for the new campaign, Ronaldo’s participation remains up in the air.
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