Man Utd’s strong response after Cristiano Ronaldo uses ‘loyalty’ to secure transfer exit

Which club might Cristiano Ronaldo join if he leaves Man United?

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Manchester United have reportedly pushed back at Jorge Mendes’ attempts to secure an exit for Cristiano Ronaldo by using ‘loyalty’ as a bargaining tool. The Portugal international wants to leave Old Trafford behind, just 11 months after his Hollywood homecoming from Juventus. But his current employers are standing firm and remain adamant he isn’t for sale this summer.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals for United last term, more than any other player at Old Trafford.

But, despite his best efforts, the Red Devils still failed to qualify for the Champions League – finishing sixth in the table under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick instead.

That means United will be strutting their stuff in the Europa League under new boss Erik ten Hag next term, a tournament they previously won when Jose Mourinho ruled the roost in 2017.

Ronaldo is unwilling to hang around, however, with the 37-year-old continuing to push for a departure.

And according to The Sun, the Portugal international and his camp have suggested he should be allowed to leave for free due to his ‘loyalty’.

This hasn’t gone down well with United, however, who have baulked at that idea as they look to keep hold of the veteran for another year.

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Mendes has told the Red Devils he has a ‘live offer’ for the former Real Madrid and Juventus star.

And he also wants them to put a price tag on Ronaldo’s head so a deal can be done this summer, before the transfer window slams shut on September 1.

Ronaldo has 12 months left on his current contract, having penned a two-year deal upon moving back to Old Trafford last August.

Yet United could potentially extend his contract by a further year.

When it comes to loyalty, Ronaldo does love United. But it would be wrong to suggest he’s a die-hard red when he’s previously pushed to leave on three separate occasions.

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The first was back in 2006, shortly after his infamous spat with Wayne Rooney at the World Cup in Germany.

Ronaldo had played a key role as his United team-mate received his marching orders, with England then proceeding to lose to Portugal on penalties.

The 37-year-old told Sir Alex Ferguson he wanted to go and was scared of being public enemy No 1, with a nation in uproar.

But Ronaldo was convinced to stay and fired United to the Premier League title the following year, their first since 2003.

In 2008, after guiding the Red Devils to both Premier League and Champions League glory, Ronaldo felt he was entitled to leave.

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Yet Ferguson was again successful in getting the Portugal international to change his mind, jetting out to Lisbon to sort the matter.

In 2009, though, Ronaldo got his wish.

Ferguson had insisted he wouldn’t sell Real Madrid a ‘virus’ while also labelling the La Liga giants as a ‘mob’ due to their public pursuit of his player.

But when Ronaldo requested to leave United, it was third time lucky.

Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, meanwhile, thinks Ronaldo has ‘no loyalty’ towards his current club and would even join Liverpool if he could.

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“Cristiano Ronaldo would join Liverpool this summer, if he could,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT.

“They are big rivals of Man United but it’s about Ronaldo.

“He will go anywhere he can still play Champions League football, add to his record and win titles. I don’t think Ronaldo has any loyalty to United, Real Madrid or Juventus.”

Ronaldo has been linked with Atletico Madrid amid the uncertainty over his future, despite Diego Simeone’s team publicly downplaying interest.

And Sporting Lisbon can’t be ruled out, despite their former winger branding talk of a return as ‘fake’ earlier in the summer.

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