Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United legend asks to leave club amid concerns over trophies and transfers

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United this summer amid concerns he will be unable to compete for the biggest trophies at the club.

The 37-year-old feels the urge to win even more in the twilight of his career, but is understood to feel that may not be possible at Old Trafford next season.

The 2021/22 campaign was the fifth in succession in which United failed to win a trophy.

Ronaldo is also understood to be concerned that United are yet to make any improvements to the squad in the current transfer window. Thirteen players have left the club this summer but none have yet arrived.

Ronaldo respects United a lot – especially the fans – and is said to be “in love” with the club, but this coming season will be the first in his career in which he will not play Champions League football if he stays at Old Trafford.

The Portugal international has never played in the Europa League – which United will be in next season – and last played in its predecessor, the UEFA Cup when he was at Sporting Lisbon in the 2002/03 season.

But while Ronaldo is keen to leave, United have taken the stance that he is not for sale and expect him to see out the remainder of his contract, which expires in the summer of 2023.

United are close to deals for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia, while they also want to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez.

Ronaldo re-signed for United last August in a deal worth just under £20m from Juventus and scored 24 goals in 38 games, but at times he cut a frustrated figure as the team faltered under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick to finish sixth.

Sky Sports News has contacted Manchester United for comment.

Ten Hag wants signings before July 8
Erik ten Hag ideally wants the bulk of United’s transfer business to be completed before the squad flies out for their pre-season tour on July 8.

The club have a basic agreement in place for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, while a deal for Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia is expected to be completed soon.

United are strongly interested in Arsenal target Lisandro Martinez and have been doing due diligence on the situation, while Christian Eriksen is deciding whether to accept an offer from United or remain at Brentford. There are also other proposals on the table that the former Tottenham midfielder “remains open to.”

Ten Hag’s new side are in talks with his old club Ajax over forward Antony, but the Dutch champions have indicated they expect defender Jurrien Timber to stay in Amsterdam. United had the centre-back, who can also operate at right-back, on a shortlist of defensive targets.

John Murtough, United’s football director, is overseeing the team’s transfer business, aided by Steve Brown, the head of recruitment operations. Tom Keane, a solicitor and brother of former United defender Michael Keane, has been roped in on a consultancy basis to help draft deals.

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Author: Arnold Watts