The squad should be complete last Monday. The national players who have been given a longer holiday should also join the team. It was packed at the Manchester United training ground. But one was missing. One who immediately notices when he’s not there: Cristiano Ronaldo. The superstar did not show up for the start of training in Manchester and was also absent from United’s grounds on Tuesday.
As British media unanimously report, Ronaldo is said to have been released from training until further notice for “family reasons”. The 37-year-old was therefore spotted in Portugal. It is unclear when he is expected back in Manchester.
While the team is preparing for the coming season under its new coach Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo is over 1700 kilometers away in his home country. A fact that further fuels the rumors of change about the superstar. The 37-year-old is said to be unhappy with United not playing in the Champions League next season. Ronaldo would have to appear with his team in the Europa League, which is obviously not enough for his still high ambitions.
Ronaldo, whose contract runs until 2023, moved from Juventus to Manchester last year. Despite the Portuguese’s 18 goals, United finished in a disappointing sixth place. In the Champions League, in which Ronaldo scored six goals in seven games, it was over after the round of 16.
There are enough clubs where Ronaldo could play in the premier class next season and who could afford him. One of them is FC Bayern Munich. For example, Lothar Matthäus considers Ronaldo’s move to Bayern to be “sexy”. “You should at least think through the options and play them through once,” writes Matthäus in his column on “Sky”.
The 61-year-old would consider signing the 37-year-old instead of the club, “if you think at Bayern that Cristiano Ronaldo is still physically able to really help for a year or two.” Another requirement is that the transfer fee generated for Robert Lewandowski “can be invested more or less one-to-one in the Portuguese megastar”. Ronaldo is “one of the best strikers of all time and would certainly score around 30 goals”. According to Matthäus, refinancing would be “guaranteed through jersey sales and the like”.
Although the rumor persists, Bayern don’t want to know anything about Ronaldo’s commitment. A move to Chelsea seems much more realistic than a transfer to Bayern. According to a report by The Athletic, Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly has already met Ronaldo’s adviser Jorge Mendes for initial exploratory talks.