Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly asked to leave Man Utd as he wants to ‘play in the Champions League for the remainder of his career’.
The Portuguese superstar returned to Old Trafford last August, 12 years after he departed for Real Madrid.
It was a brutal season for the Red Devils, who finished sixth in the Premier League and ended the campaign without a trophy for the fifth year in a row.
Ronaldo had a solid goalscoring season, scoring 24 in 38 across all competitions , though this return is a far cry from his usual outrageous standards.
The 37-year-old won one Champions League and claimed the Ballon d’Or with Man Utd before going on to win another four of each during his time in the Spanish capital.
And it is his desire to play in the continental competition that has influenced his decision to ask Man Utd to let him leave should they receive a ‘satisfactory offer’ this summer, as per The Times.
Ronaldo has played in 19 consecutive Champions League campaigns and has scored 140 goals in 183 encounters in the competition.
The former Juventus forward ‘believes he has three or four years left at the highest level’ and wants to spend these years at a club that can match his ambition.
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) July 2, 2022
He ‘no longer views his future to be at Old Trafford’ after the club’s turbulent 2021/22 season which saw the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, appointment of Ralf Rangnick and then abandonment of the plans for Rangnick to become a consultant in Manchester.
Ronaldo’s ‘close friends’ say that he still has ‘affection and respect’ for the Man Utd fanbase and the experienced striker doesn’t want to just leave on sporting grounds, but on personal grounds after a difficult period for his family.
The Portugal captain’s contract expires next summer and Chelsea and Bayern Munich have been linked with a move in the summer transfer window.
Bayern are unlikely to make an offer unless Robert Lewandowski leaves with Barcelona very interested in signing the Polish striker.
Ronaldo’s representatives met Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly last month, sparking rumours of a sensational switch to west London.
A return to Serie A has also been rumoured. Jose Mourinho’s Roma have emerged as a potential destination for Ronaldo, however, they can not offer Champions League football in 22/23.
The news was later confirmed by reliable journalist David Ornstein. Writing for The Athletic, Ornstein claimed that Napoli are one of the teams ‘interested’ in signing the ex-Sporting Lisbon player.
Bayern ‘have been told about his situation’, meanwhile Paris Saint-Germain are not in the running.