Manchester United ‘accept’ Cristiano Ronaldo departure this summer

Manchester United have accepted that they will lose last season’s top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo this summer as the star continues to go on strike rather than returning for pre-season training.

Ronaldo is yet to check into pre-season training, and Manchester United are unclear as to whether he will be joining their pre-season tour to Asia and Australia, handing new boss Erik Ten Hag an unwanted early headache during his time in charge at Old Trafford.

Without Champions League football, Ronaldo was further agitated by the lack of transfer activity at the Theatre of Dreams, with Tyrell Malacia the only addition so far this summer and seven players having departed the first team squad.

Now, the hierarchy seems to have recognised that keeping the global icon at the club when he clearly wishes to depart is futile, and have accepted his decision to do so.

As per the Sun, ‘United were initially bullish about their star striker still being with them for next season’ But, they continue, ‘Red Devils bigwigs have now recognised they cannot keep him against his will and want to avoid a long, drawn-out battle.’

The likes of Chelsea, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Napoli, Roma and Sporting Lisbon have all been mentioned as potential destinations for Ronaldo this summer, but for one reason or another several seem unrealistic.

Where will Ronaldo head?

At the moment, Chelsea appear to be the frontrunner, with Todd Boehly keen to make a statement signing after taking over the club.

Bayern Munich have ruled themselves out of the race, while Barcelona seem more focused on luring Robert Lewandowski to the Camp Nou.

Meanwhile, Roma do not have Champions League football to offer, and there are questions as to whether a return to Serie A would be something Ronaldo would be keen on.

One thing seems increasingly likely, however. He won’t be at Old Trafford this season.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 AFC Bournemouth 0 0 0
2 Arsenal FC 0 0 0
3 Aston Villa 0 0 0
4 Brentford FC 0 0 0
5 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 0 0
6 Chelsea FC 0 0 0
7 Crystal Palace 0 0 0
8 Everton FC 0 0 0
9 Fulham FC 0 0 0
10 Leeds United 0 0 0
11 Leicester City 0 0 0
12 Liverpool FC 0 0 0
13 Manchester City 0 0 0
14 Manchester United 0 0 0
15 Newcastle United 0 0 0
16 Nottingham Forest 0 0 0
17 Southampton FC 0 0 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 0
19 West Ham United 0 0 0
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 23
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 23
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 18
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 17
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 16
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 15
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 15
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 15
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 14
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 13
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 12
Maddison, James Leicester City 12
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 12
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 11
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 11
Richarlison Everton FC 11
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 11
Raphinha Leeds United 11
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa 11

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