Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United to play Champions League football; club have lost both matches so far this season; watch Man Utd vs Liverpool on Monday on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League from 6.30pm; kick-off at 8pm
Thursday 18 August 2022 15:14, UK
Cristiano Ronaldo has promised Manchester United supporters that he will reveal the "truth" in a few weeks' time amid reports he is continuing to search for an exit from Old Trafford.
Ronaldo wants to leave Man Utd this summer after they failed to qualify for the Champions League. The forward holds the competition records for goals, assists and appearances and, at 37, is keen to add to his tally.
The Portugal international has been linked with a number of Europe's top clubs, including Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, although there are senior figures at both sides that are not convinced about the move.
Man Utd's stance this summer has been that Ronaldo is not for sale and, while that remains the case, they could be open to his exit if Erik ten Hag decides it would be best for the team.
There have been reports the new manager is unhappy with Ronaldo's attitude amid his desire for an exit. The former Real Madrid forward cut a frustrated figure during Man Utd's 4-0 humbling at the hands of Brentford last weekend, while he was left out of the starting XI for the season opener at home to Brighton, which ended in a 2-1 defeat.
With questions continuing to be asked about his future, Ronaldo has now taken to Instagram to assure Man Utd fans that, "you'll all know the truth when I do an interview in a few weeks' time."
Ronaldo added: "The media only spouts lies. I have a notebook and out of the last 100 news stories that have been written (about me), only five have been accurate. You can imagine the way things are. Bear that figure in mind."
Ronaldo's social media comments have added to the drama surrounding Man Utd as they bid to recover from their torrid start to the season, with a game at home to bitter rivals Liverpool on Monday Night Football next up for Ten Hag's embattled side.
Former Man Utd captain Gary Neville has questioned Ronaldo's stance, tweeting: "Why does the greatest player of all time (in my opinion) have to wait two weeks to tell Manchester United fans the truth?
"Stand up now and speak. The club is in crisis and it needs leaders to lead. He's the only one who can grab this situation by the scruff of the neck!"
Speaking earlier this week on Monday Night Football, Neville said he believed Man Utd could finish in the bottom half of the Premier League this season if Ronaldo is allowed to leave 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," Neville said.
''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.
"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."
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."
Another factor in Ronaldo's decision to seek a Man Utd exit is said to be what he perceives to be their lack of signings in the transfer market this summer as they bid to rebuild a squad that slumped to sixth in the Premier League last season.
Ten Hag has only been able to sign Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia and former Brentford midfielder Christian Eriksen, and has just two weeks of the window remaining to strengthen his side.
Ten Hag is keen to be reunited with Frenkie de Jong, the Barcelona midfielder who he worked with at Ajax, but the Netherlands international has so far resisted Man Utd's overtures, despite the two clubs agreeing a £72m deal.
Man Utd have also been frustrated in their attempts to sign Juventus' Adrien Rabiot, with the club unwilling to match the wages demanded by the midfielder.
Man Utd have also struggled to bring in a forward to strengthen Ten Hag's attacking options. The club saw an offer for 33-year-old Marko Arnautovic turned down by Bologna, while another player they were keen on - RB Salzburg forward Benjamin Sesko - opted for a move to RB Leipzig.
Man Utd have now been offered Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata and have also been linked with his team-mate Joao Felix - who the Spanish club have branded "priceless".
Man Utd are also understood to be preparing a move for £35m-rated PSV forward Cody Gakpo, although they will likely have to wait until after the Dutch side's Champions League play-off against Rangers concludes on August 24.
Sky Sports News has been told Man Utd will go back in for Ajax forward Antony - and it is thought an offer will be presented to the Dutch club this week.
United tried to sign the 22-year-old earlier in the window but there was a big gap between what they were prepared to pay and what Ajax wanted. It was believed Ajax's valuation was €80m (£67.5m) at the start of the window.
Signing a forward has been a priority for Ten Hag all summer and Antony was a regular under the Man Utd boss at Ajax in the last two seasons.
Man Utd are exploring the possibility of taking Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic on loan.
United are looking at a number of attacking options with two weeks of the transfer window to go and Pulisic has emerged as a player of interest.
The USA captain, who was signed for £57.6m from Borussia Dortmund in January 2019, has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea and is keen to get more minutes ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
The club are also looking for a goalkeeper to provide competition for first choice David de Gea, who made two glaring errors leading to goals in the 4-0 defeat at Brentford, and have identified Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer as a possible target.