Cristiano Ronaldo intimated to Sir Alex Ferguson that he wanted to leave Real Madrid six weeks ago, according to reports.
Ronaldo’s future in Spain is under significant doubt after a series of events unfolded this past week.
The Portuguese has been accused of defrauding the Spanish authorities of around £13million in tax, a charge which he strenuously denies.
He has been left ‘sad’ and ‘upset’ by the allegations, and has informed Real president Florentino Perez that he wishes to leave as a result.
The Mailbox has wondered quite where he could go, but John Richardson of the Sunday Mirror claims that Ronaldo’s decision is not because of the tax evasion charges, and that he made his choice even before the Champions League final.
According to Richardson, Ronaldo ‘confided in’ his former manager at a function, and told him that he was ‘unsettled’ in the Spanish capital.
The claim is that the 32-year-old ‘felt unloved’ at the Bernabeu and ‘let down by some of the fans who had at times booed him’.
Ronaldo also reportedly told Ferguson that the dressing room atmosphere was ‘strained’, and not at all like ‘the camaraderie’ he enjoyed at Old Trafford before leaving in 2009. We particularly like the idea that he used the word ‘camaraderie’ himself.
Richardson offers no indication as to whether United will compete to sign Ronaldo this summer.