Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly open to letting Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club in the upcoming January market.
The 37-year-old fruitlessly tried to engineer a move from the club in the summer amid his desire to continue playing Champions League football, though Manchester United insisted that their star player was not for sale.
However, having missed a large chunk of United’s pre-season preparations, Ronaldo has had a slow start to the season, scoring just one goal so far – a penalty in the Europa League – with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial often being preferred through the middle.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was an unused substitute during United’s Manchester derby hammering at the weekend, with Rashford starting before Martial came on to net two consolation goals late on.
According to the Telegraph, Ronaldo will make a renewed effort to leave Old Trafford in the January transfer window, and Erik ten Hag will not stand in his way.
Despite finishing as United’s top scorer with 18 Premier League goals last season, Ronaldo’s style of play has often looked prohibitive to the more dynamic pressing game that Ten Hag wants to implement.
Ronaldo’s agent – Jorge Mendes – tried in vain to try to persuade a host of European sides to sign his client during the summer, only for the likes of Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich, Marseille, AC Milan and Napoli to all distance themselves from making a move, and the forward could encouter similar issues in January.
The Telegraph report says that Ronaldo has ‘remained highly professional despite his unhappiness at the situation’ and ‘is hoping his prospects of more playing time improve between now and the World Cup finals next month and that a strong showing in Qatar will boost his prospects of a move’.
Reports have suggested that United will renew their interest in PSV’s Cody Gakpo in the upcoming window, with the Dutchman comfortable playing both on the left and through the middle. Gakpo has scored eight goals in eight appearances in the Eredivisie so far this season.