What Man Utd are thinking about Cristiano Ronaldo behind the scenes as Brighton game nears

Erik ten Hag discusses Cristiano Ronaldo's future

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Manchester United think something will ‘have to give’ when it comes to Cristiano Ronaldo as their Premier League opener with Brighton edges closer, according to reports. The Portugal international is eager to leave Old Trafford for a team playing in the Champions League. However, the Red Devils and manager Erik ten Hag continue to insist the veteran isn’t for sale.

News broke at the end of last month that Ronaldo was looking to leave United behind for a second time.

Despite only returning from Juventus last term, and netting 24 goals across all competitions, the forward wants to play in the Champions League as he enters the twilight years of his career.

Ronaldo has never graced the Europa League, though did appear for Sporting Lisbon when it was formerly known as the UEFA Cup.

And the Daily Mail say that though United have accepted the veteran’s absence from their pre-season tour is down to a personal matter, they also believe ‘something will have to give’ as their Premier League opener nears.

United are due to lock horns with Brighton on August 7 at Old Trafford.

And they’re unsure if Ronaldo will be involved in that contest as the uncertainty over his future continues to rumble on.

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It’s claimed United’s patience is ‘being tested’ after the former Real Madrid and Juventus star missed the entirety of their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

They’ve been ‘careful’ not to apply too much pressure on their No 7.

But they want clarity over Ronaldo’s future as they battle to keep hold of the 37-year-old for one more year.

Ronaldo has been active on social media, twice uploading pictures of himself working in the gym wearing United shorts.

Yet the Red Devils feel he won’t be fit in time for their match with Brighton due to the fact he’s ‘not done the same preparation’ as his team-mates.

Ronaldo is also yet to work with Ten Hag, too, despite the duo previously holding positive talks behind the scenes.

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United have two more friendlies scheduled before their clash with Brighton, against Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.

And Atletico are one of the clubs currently being linked with Ronaldo as the uncertainty over his future grows.

It’s claimed Ronaldo would be willing to take a pay cut in order to leave the Red Devils, with the former Juventus and Real Madrid star taking home £500,000-a-week over at Old Trafford.

Yet the La Liga side would need to sell players for any potential transfer to work.

And it seems like Ronaldo, for the time being, is stuck at United with the likes of Chelsea and Bayern Munich also distancing themselves from talk of a bid.

Ten Hag recently said he was looking forward to working with Ronaldo and integrating the 37-year-old into his squad.

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“Concerning is maybe not the right word,” said Ten Hag when asked for an update on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“I focus on the players who are there and they are doing really well.

“They are in good shape and I have further focus on that and develop that. I cannot wait for (Ronaldo) to come in and then we will integrate him.”

Former United star Teddy Sheringham, however, thinks his old side would be wise to jettison Ronaldo as they gear up for the start of the Ten Hag era.

“I half saw it coming,” Sheringham told Sportsmail. “People are saying shall Ten Hag build his team around Ronaldo, but if he wants to go, he goes. That opens up a whole new corridor for United.

“You could get in two or three players on that sort of wage and that is a lot of money they could spend each month.

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“Life goes on, he wants to go and play somewhere else, so get players in that you know who are going to be strong and stable throughout the season.

“Ronaldo will have been watching what has been going on, he will feel the vibes from how it was in Fergie’s time and how the club is being run now and he will get the vibes that he does not like what he is seeing going on.

“If you stand still in football, you fall and maybe Ronaldo sees the same. Where is that big signing coming from?

“If I’m Ronaldo now, I’m saying go on then United, excite me…what are you doing in the transfer market.

“Ronaldo has got maybe another year or two years max at the top level and he deserves to enjoy his football at the top of his game.”

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