Manchester United break silence on Cristiano Ronaldo as Chelsea launch surprise move




Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United want and fully expect Cristiano Ronaldo to be with them for next season.

The Old Trafford club have no desire to sell the 37-year-old despite the fact he is understood to be frustrated at their lack of progress and his agent Jorge Mendes meeting clubs such as Chelsea and Bayern Munich over the past week to test the demand in the market.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals last season and, though he has been criticised for being unable to sustain a pressing game, still sets a high example to the players around him at United.

He is known to have been deeply disappointed by last season and the decisions taken by United after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure last November.

The Portuguese superstar still cares deeply about the club and wanted it to take bigger and quicker strides forward. Instead progress was hindered by the interim appointment of Ralf Rangnick and subsequent divisions within the dressing room.

Erik Ten Hag wants to play an attacking style and sees Ronaldo playing a key role despite the fact he is looking to bring in another forward and lower the age of the squad.

Sportsmail reported how Ronaldo was offered to Bayern Munich by Mendes but the Bundesliga side had no interest.

Indeed, asked about the prospect of such a deal, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told Sky Germany: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo is a top player with an outstanding career. However, the rumour that is circulating is a rumour that has no truth in it.’

Mendes spoke to Chelsea’s Todd Boehly in Portugal this week to discuss a variety of players with the Stamford Bridge club keen to add defenders as well as a forward.

United are well aware of the meetings taking place but have no wish to sell while they are also trying to focus on getting number one target Frenkie de Jong over the line.

More productive talks were held with Barcelona over a deal de Jong yesterday as they look to close the gap in valuation.

Barcelona want to recoup the £73m they paid for De Jong but it is understood could be prepared to accept a basic £51.5m plus add-ons to get to the desired figure.

United are waiting on Christian Eriksen’s decision over whether to accept their contract offer and have interest in Ajax players including Antony, Lisandro Martinez and left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.

But, in order to lure new assets, the club would need to sell some of their fringe players first with Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Brandon Williams and potentially Alex Telles among them.

United also want a goalkeeper to compete with Tom Heaton and David de Gea after allowing Dean Henderson to join Nottingham Forest.

Watford’s Daniel Bachmann has been discussed but the Championship club understandably wanted a fee as the 27-year-old has two years left on contract.

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