Man Utd’s star withdraws from the pre-season tour amid suspense over his future
Cristiano Ronaldo has withdrawn from Manchester United’s pre-season tour as speculation over his future grows.
United has maintained publicly that the veteran striker is not for sale and is expected to complete the last year of his contract.
However, the club admits that they do not know when – or if – Ronaldo will report for pre-season training with new manager Erik ten Hag.
United continue to accept Ronaldo’s claim that he missed the first week of preseason training due to a “family matter.”
The club claims there is nothing strange about Ronaldo’s motive for lingering in Portugal when he should be going with the team to Thailand and Australia on Friday.
However, the lack of a short-term solution to his absence will further fuel speculation that he has played his last game for the club, less than a year after rejoining them.
Chelsea were reportedly considering a £14 million offer for the 37-year-old as new owner Todd Boehly tries to make a significant impression in his first transfer window.
But United believe they have had no bids for their top player and, in any event, he is not for sale.
To compound matters further, the Portuguese veteran will be prominently featured in promotional material when United unveils their new club shirt on Friday.
The photos of Ronaldo modeling the jerseys were evidently shot before the present situation that has led to his desire to leave Old Trafford.
Despite mounting doubts over whether he will play another game in United colors, United will continue to utilize the photographs.
Ronaldo was missing from United’s Carrington compound for the fourth day in a row yesterday, making him the only senior player who has not participated in Ten Hag’s first full week of training.
The convoluted, and perhaps destructive, nature of the issue will be highlighted today when United’s kit unveiling will attempt to capitalize on Ronaldo’s marketing influence.
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