Man United in 2021: Ronaldo's return, Ole out and Rangnick revolution
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Cristiano Ronaldo has shown no signs of wanting to leave Manchester United ahead of the Erik ten Hag era, according to reports. The Portugal international has scored 24 goals from 37 appearances at Old Trafford this term. But while there’s been talk of a move back to Real Madrid, that seems unlikely to happen.
Ronaldo has stepped up for United amid a tough season under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, netting 24 goals across all competitions.
And The Telegraph say new boss Ten Hag is willing to keep the Portugal international at the club and may even build his team around the 37-year-old.
It’s also claimed that Ronaldo, for his part, has shown no indications of wanting to leave United behind.
Next term, the Red Devils are primed to be without Champions League football.
Yet while Ronaldo has never spent a season of his career not playing in Europe’s top club competition, he’s apparently shown signs of ‘understanding this’.
Furthermore, he doesn’t want to leave United on the back of a season that’s been a failure.
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And that suggests the Red Devils can now plan for a brighter future knowing their talisman is willing to hang around.
In 2009, when Ronaldo did leave United, he joined Real Madrid.
That was on the back of a season where the Red Devils had claimed the Premier League, Club World Cup and EFL Cup titles under Sir Alex Ferguson.
But while there’s been talk of a Hollywood homecoming to Madrid this summer, that’s unlikely to happen.
Ronaldo has previously insisted his time with the club has already been written, having spent nine years there before leaving for Juventus in 2018.
And that bodes well for United.
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That said, the board won’t stand in Ronaldo’s way if he decides he wants to turn his back on the club for a second time.
But there are other players who are now far more likely to leave at a time where Ten Hag is preparing to take charge.
Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are all out of contract.
And, Pogba aside, the other three players have already decided to depart in order to pursue new challenges elsewhere.
Nemanja Matic has played his last game at Old Trafford, having already confirmed he’ll be on the move.
And Anthony Martial, as well as Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Marcus Rashford, is also facing an uncertain future.
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Former United star Luke Chadwick, meanwhile, recently hailed Ronaldo after his outstanding display against Brentford on Monday night.
“Cristiano Ronaldo worked hard, I think one moment that really summed him up was when he lost the ball after trying a little flick, but then ran back 50 yards to make the challenge,” he said.
“It looked like he was right on top of his game.
“You’d hope the new manager has spoken to him and we’ll have another season of him at Old Trafford.
“I think Ronaldo’s cut a frustrated figure at times this season. Maybe he and a few others haven’t really known what direction the club and the team are going.
“But on Monday, he had a bit more of a spring in his step. Hopefully that’s a sign he’s positive about his future and about the new manager coming in.
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“Again, he’s shown what he’s all about. His numbers, for a 37-year-old, scoring 24 goals and maybe a couple more to come, that’s incredible.
“We all talk about his age but I think he’s certainly got the energy levels to keep on doing it at this level.
“I think the main issue this season has been his frustration with how things went under Ole, and the results not really coming under Rangnick either.
“Hopefully now we’re seeing that he’s a bit more positive, and hopefully the new manager can come in and bring everyone together.
“At his best, he’s obviously someone you’d rather have at the club than not.”
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