Cristiano’s future with United remains uncertain

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s weekly social media posts this holiday usually show him half-naked and muscular, either training or promoting one of his many brands.

Staying relevant and visible is clearly important for the player who, alongside Lionel Messi, is the best of his generation. Even in the last years of his career.

That is why for Cristiano, at 37, playing for Manchester United – one of the most famous clubs in the world despite the recent shortage of trophies – is not enough. He wants to compete on the biggest stage and win as many trophies as possible.

This leads to the current stalemate with United, who continue to be disruptive and disruptive as the days go on.

Publicly Cristiano has not returned to the English club’s pre-season training for “personal reasons”. The expectation, and that the new United manager Erik ten Hag constantly repeats, is that the Portuguese star will return before the Premier League starts and will be a key element of his offense.

But the reality is different. Apparently Cristiano wants to leave after only one season back at Old Trafford, this is because the club will not play the Champions League and is not in shape to fight with the best teams in the Premier, such as Manchester City and Liverpool. . United finished sixth last season, 35 points behind City.

So, while the rest of the team gets ready and learns ten Hag’s methods on a tour of Thailand and Australia, Cristiano is at home in Portugal with his family while his agent Jorge Mendes finds his most famous client a new club. .

There is currently no buyer. And the Premier League season starts in about two weeks.

“I don’t know what Cristiano said to the club and the manager,” said United midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who also plays with Cristiano on the national team. “I don’t know what he’s thinking, if he wants to leave. I did not ask him”.

On the surface, United want to keep Cristiano – the English team’s leading scorer last season with 24 goals and a symbol for the marketing department – ​​and ten Hag called the striker “incredibly important”, as well as saying that ” it is not for sale”.

But why don’t other elite teams want a player who still guarantees goals and winnings?

Scoring is apparently the goal of football, but it is not necessarily the only important thing for a manager today. A certain level of mobility and ability to be part of a pressing group is important and Cristiano doesn’t offer it, even if he remains a highly athletic player with the uncanny ability to come alive in the penalty area and score from anywhere. The structure of a team must change to accommodate an element like Cristiano, covering his deficiencies and the need to make him the focal point.

Simply put, your presence requires a commitment. Portuguese is a problem and a solution.

So what’s next? An uneasy truce with United and an embarrassing return to a team that will play in the Europa League and with little chance of fighting for the Premier title? Or can Mendes broker a spectacular trade like he did last year when Cristiano sealed his sensational return to England?

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