Manchester United’s new manager Erik ten Hag officially began pre-season training on June 27 with those players who were not part of their national sides.
However, today was supposed to mark the date when the entire squad returned to Carrington.
Supporters will be disappointed to know that all players barring Cristiano Ronaldo have returned for training.
Club sources have informed MEN, “Cristiano is not expected due to family reasons and the club has accepted this explanation.”
This news comes back on the explosive revelation that United’s No 7 wanted to leave the club as he wants to play in the Champions League. Family reasons were also mentioned as a big part of the reason behind this decision as mentioned in the original The Times piece which broke the news.
The Red Devils have maintained their stance that the club’s top scorer last term is not for sale as he has a year left in his contract.
Confirmed. Cristiano Ronaldo to miss return to Manchester United training today “due to family reasons”, club have accepted this explanation. 🚨🇵🇹 #MUFC
Man United are aware of his desire to leave the club – but insist on their position: not for sale, want to keep him. pic.twitter.com/Tzj40IidtU
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 4, 2022
Now it remains to be seen when the striker joins training or will he stay away to force a move away from Manchester. United finished sixth in the Premier League, meaning they have to play in the Europa League.
The club have made it abundantly clear to both the player and his entourage that they expect him to be on the plane when United players jet off for their two-and-a-half week tour of Thailand and Australia on Friday.
CR7’s agent Jorge Mendes has been desperately trying to find his client a new club, even offering him to rivals Chelsea as well as Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. Recent reports even stated that Serie A club Napoli were interested.
United lack options up front
The five-time Champions League winner is used to playing in the elite European club competition and last played in the second-tier tournament when it was still known as the UEFA Cup.
Gone are those days when as a young starlet emerging from the Sporting Lisbon academy, a foray into Europe was a moment to savour.
Now in the twilight of his career, the 37-year-old wants to prove that he still has it in him to lift the coveted crown again.
He is reportedly unhappy with United’s lack of ambition in the transfer market with Tyrell Malacia the only player in yet. The English giants are also working on signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, Ajax’s versatile defender Lisandro Martinez and free agent Christian Eriksen.
With funds allocated to solve other problem areas of the squad, this latest update will not be what the new manager and the fans want to hear. The former Ajax boss was brought in to take United back to the top but the start has been anything but auspicious.