Man Utd's pre-season schedule as Red Devils head for Australia
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Manchester United would want the £12.9million they paid for Cristiano Ronaldo back in order to let the veteran leave Old Trafford, according to reports. It’s emerged the Portugal international is ready to depart, believing the club are unable to match his ambition. And Chelsea and Bayern Munich are the frontrunners for his signature at the current moment in time.
Manchester United re-signed Ronaldo from Juventus last August, beating Manchester City to the signature of the veteran at the time.
He then proceeded to score 24 goals across all competitions, including 18 in the Premier League, despite the club’s issues under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
According to The Times, United would want the £12.9m they paid Juventus back in order to contemplate letting their prized asset go.
The Red Devils also agreed to pay bonuses and add-ons to Juventus, which is believed to take the overall fee closer to £17m.
Chelsea have the finances required to strike a deal, with owner Todd Boehly recently holding talks with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes.
United would likely loathe losing their No 7 to a direct Premier League rival, however, and a move to Stamford Bridge still looks unlikely.
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While that’s the case, however, Chelsea are on the lookout for a replacement for Romelu Lukaku – who has rejoined Inter Milan on loan just a year after returning to west London.
And with the Blues previously negotiating with United for Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, it’s feasible Ronaldo could still jump ship to the Red Devils’ rivals.
Bayern Munich are also in the hunt.
The Bundesliga giants are looking increasingly likely to lose Robert Lewandowski, with Barcelona pushing hard to sign the Poland international this summer.
And while they’ve already landed Sadio Mane, Ronaldo may be tempted by a move to Germany.
Having conquered England, Spain and Italy, it would enable the 37-year-old to play in a new league and challenge for the biggest honours once again.
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Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked, especially given their desire to jettison Neymar this summer.
Neymar was signed from Barcelona for £200m back in the summer transfer window of 2017 but has failed to propel the Ligue 1 side to Champions League glory.
However, PSG would have to find a buyer for the Samba star first before pursuing Ronaldo.
And they appear to be in short supply, despite Neymar’s obvious talents and reputation as one of the best players in the world.
Real Madrid were being tipped to land Ronaldo a year ago, when it was clear he’d be leaving Juventus for a new challenge elsewhere.
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Yet the veteran took to social media to fiercely deny claims he would go back to the Bernabeu, insisting that chapter has already been written.
Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher said last month that the Red Devils would be wise to cut Ronaldo loose ahead of the Erik ten Hag era.
He said: “I’m convinced [Ten Hag] has got to do it with Ronaldo. I’m convinced.
“Whether he’s allowed to or not, and I’ve said this consistently through this season, that was not a good signing.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time, and I’m seen as the guy that’s criticising Ronaldo.
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“Ronaldo’s a miles better player than I was; I couldn’t even lace his boots, obviously. But I’m not saying that to be disrespectful to him – he’s amazing.
“Ronaldo has never played in a team this bad. He’s always played for great teams. His attitude of trying to be the main man, getting the goals, driving people on; when you’re in a great team, they’re seen as positives.
“When you’re not playing for a great team, it can be seen as a negative, and I think it has been a negative this season.
“Man United can’t go into next season with a forward who’s going to be 38.
“Even if he does score goals, that’s not right for Man United – one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
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