Man Utd have played down reports that Cristiano Ronaldo is on the verge of re-joining Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon this summer.
The Portugal international told the Red Devils hierarchy earlier in the summer that he wishes to leave the club this summer if they receive an offer that satisfies all parties.
But his agent has struggled to drum up interest in his client despite Ronaldo scoring 24 goals in 38 matches in all competitions last campaign.
Apart from an offer from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club there has been little concrete interest in Ronaldo with Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag now reportedly ready to let him leave.
A report from CaughtOffside insisted yesterday that Ronaldo was on the verge of a return to Sporting Lisbon before the end of the transfer window.
The report said that a deal is ’99 per cent’ done and added:
‘Jorge Mendes has been working tirelessly to bring his star client back to his old club, and an agreement with Manchester United, who are willing to be financially flexible in order to offload their number seven, has recently been reached. The proposed deal, to our understanding, is now very close to being finalised.
‘We are told that Sporting Lisbon’s board have already scheduled a meeting with an external communication company, who specialises in public events, for Friday morning, when the first stages of presentation preparations will commence.’
But now the Daily Mail have been speaking to sources at Man Utd who have ‘downplayed the likelihood of the move happening’ this summer.
With Man Utd sources pouring cold water on those reports, former Premier League defender Alan Hutton expects Ronaldo to be relegated to a bit-part player this season.
Asked whether he thought Ronaldo would be on the Man Utd bench for their next match against Southampton, Hutton told Football Insider: “I think so.
“It’s hard to say, he’s one of the icons of the sport. He’s been one of the best players for 10 plus years so to see him not playing is a bit strange.
“The way Erik ten Hag wants to play, the intensity, closing down from the front, everybody running, working hard, it doesn’t quite suit Ronaldo and where he’s at at this moment in time in his career.
“I think he will have to take a back seat. Of course he can come on, do his cameos, he’ll score goals but I don’t see him, at this moment in time, fitting into the way Ten Hag wants to play his football.”