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Cristiano Ronaldo: Striker may be allowed to leave Manchester United if Erik ten Hag backs departure

Man Utd are bottom of the Premier League after losing their first two matches; last season's top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo's future at the club is uncertain; Portugal striker not for sale and has a year left on his contract and United have the option of extending by another 12 months

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo dejected at the end of the match during the Premier League match at the Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford. Picture date: Saturday August 13, 2022.
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo still has a year left on his contract and Man Utd have the option of extending it by another 12 months

Cristiano Ronaldo may be allowed to leave Manchester United this month if Erik ten Hag decides his departure would be better for the club going forward.

United's position has not changed and Ronaldo is not for sale. He still has a year left on his contract and United have the option of extending it by another 12 months.

Sky Sports News reported on Monday that Atletico Madrid and Chelsea were still two possible destinations for Ronaldo if United change their stance and let him leave.

However, there are senior figures at both clubs who are not convinced they should sign Ronaldo.

United have suffered their worst start to a Premier League season in 101 years under new manager Ten Hag.

With an opening weekend defeat to Brighton swiftly followed by a humbling 4-0 loss away at Brentford on Saturday, United sit bottom of the table.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo's United future is in serious doubt with the 37-year-old wanting to quit Old Trafford this summer in favour of joining a Champions League club.

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'United's stance on Ronaldo softening'

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Kaveh Solhekol discusses whether Manchester United's stance on Cristiano Ronaldo is softening as there is still uncertainty surrounding his future at the club

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

"The stance appears to be softening just a little bit because obviously the manager has the final say and if he decides it's best for all parties to say now, 'Ronaldo you've been a legend at Man Utd in the past, thank you for what you did last season, obviously you don't want to be here' and if a deal that can be done suits all parties and Ten Hag decides that's what he wants to do, he may be allowed to leave Man Utd.

"As far as the player himself is concerned he wants to leave, he wants to play in the Champions League. That is what's most important to him. There's also a suggestion that for personal reasons it would suit him more if he could leave Man Utd.

"There has been lots of talk that Man Utd haven't had any official offers for him. There have been no official bids. Are we really living in a world where nobody wants Cristiano Ronaldo? I don't think so. I still think there's interest out there and if United changed their position and decided they'd allow him to leave I still expect clubs like Chelsea also Atletico Madrid to be interested in signing him - if he agreed to take a big pay cut.

"There are still senior figures at those two clubs who are not convinced they should be signing someone like Ronaldo. But he's one of the most famous people in the world. It's not just about what he can do on the pitch, it's what he can do for a club's profile and commercial revenue off the pitch as well."

Neville: United could finish in bottom half if Ronaldo goes

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With the potential departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gary Neville believes that Manchester United could finish in the bottom half of the Premier League table

Gary Neville told Monday Night Football Manchester United could finish in the bottom half of the Premier League this season if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the club.

"The problem they have now is if they lose him, there's nothing left in terms of the goal-scoring part of the pitch.

''I genuinely think if they don't bring players in or if they bring poor players in and he leaves, I genuinely think they can finish in the bottom half of the table," Neville said on Monday Night Football.

"I think that is a bottom-half-of-the-table team. That is a massive statement that may look stupid at the end of the season.

"They are demoralised and shot to pieces, it is really bad in there. They have gone back to default."

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As we celebrate 30 years of the Premier League, take a look at some of the most iconic moments in PL history. In 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo astonished everyone when his stunning free-kick flew past David James in the Portsmouth goal

Merson: Ronaldo would solve Chelsea striker problem

In his latest Sky Sports column, Paul Merson explained why Cristiano Ronaldo would be the final piece in the jigsaw for Chelsea.

"Chelsea were outstanding against Tottenham on Sunday, they dominated the match from start to finish, but they haven't got a goalscorer or centre-forward and that cost them three points," said Merson.

"Despite their domination, Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made just one save. That tells you all you need to know.

"I cannot believe they didn't or haven't gone in for Cristiano Ronaldo. He just ticks all of the boxes Chelsea are lacking.

"Playing for Chelsea is not like playing for Manchester United, who are working from the halfway line. Chelsea are on the edge of the box, dominating games.

"Chelsea have unbelievable wing-backs, they dominate football matches, if they were putting the ball into the box for Ronaldo I would dread to think how many goals he could score."

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