Manchester United players believe Cristiano Ronaldo has already made up his mind to leave the club in January.
The 37-year-old was keen to leave Old Trafford in the summer and his agent Jorge Mendes reached out to a number of elite European clubs to plot a move.
However, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich were among the clubs who turned down the chance to sign the Portuguese.
Ronaldo missed all of the club’s pre-season and played a minor role in United’s start to the 2022/23 season. With Anthony Martial injured early on, Marcus Rashford has been tasked with leading the line, with Ronaldo starting just one Premier League game this season.
The forward was in the starting XI for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Real Sociedad but endured a frustrating evening as United suffered a 1-0 defeat.
While the veteran remains part of ten Hag’s plans, The Sun report that other members of the dressing room are convinced he’ll be pushing for a move again when the January transfer window opens – and still unfazed by his inability to step up with Erik to hold ten Hags new schedule.
A source told the newspaper: “All the players loved it when Ronaldo returned to United last season but are frustrated that he missed pre-season.
“The manager put a lot of work into giving the team detailed information about what he wanted from them and how they should play.
“Ronaldo is not up to date with this and relies on his instincts when playing. But that doesn’t work in Ten Hag’s system.
“He often calls for the ball too early in build-up play and drops low, but that means when the ball is wide there’s nobody in the middle to hit it.
“Ten Hag and the rest of the players really appreciate Ronaldo. But it’s clear that the success they’ve had this season has come more from following tactical direction than the individual brilliance they relied on last season.
‘Ronaldo will probably find himself back on the bench if he goes forward. And he’ll have to get used to scoring a lot fewer goals because he’s only introduced towards the end of games, when Ten Hag have already made changes that make United less attacking.
“He has to realize that it only works if he gets involved with ten Hag’s plans.”
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