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Cristiano Ronaldo offered Manchester United exit route by boyhood club Sporting Lisbon

Rory O'Callaghan

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Cristiano Ronaldo offered Manchester United exit route by boyhood club Sporting Lisbon

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Sporting Lisbon have offered Cristiano Ronaldo a potential exit route out of Manchester United this summer.

Ronaldo, 37, is seeking to leave Old Trafford to play Champions League football this season.

The Portuguese superstar handed in a transfer request last month, shock news which dominated the entirety of United’s pre-season preparations under new manager Erik ten Hag.

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The uncertainty surrounding Ronaldo's future has carried over into the start of the new season and appears to have had a damaging effect on the Red Devils, who suffered back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Brentford in their opening two games.

After insisting Ronaldo was not for sale this summer, United appear to have changed their stance – with reports claiming the club are now considering allowing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to leave.

Ronaldo's teammates are said to have become increasingly frustrated with the forward's behaviour in recent weeks and there is an ongoing debate at the club as to whether it would be better to cut ties with the Portuguese now, rather than forcing him to stay for the final year of his contract.

Ronaldo is seeking a move away from United this summer (Image: Alamy)
Ronaldo is seeking a move away from United this summer (Image: Alamy)

Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes has spent the summer investigating potential options but none of Europe's top clubs have submitted an offer for the forward.

But The Independent claim that Ronaldo's boyhood club Sporting Lisbon have now offered to take veteran striker on a free transfer, if United agree to terminate his contract a year early.

It remains to be seen whether Ronaldo would agree to return to Portuguese football, with the veteran striker reportedly keen to play for a club that is capable of winning the Champions League this season – criteria which could rule out Sporting.

Ronaldo began his professional career with Sporting (Image: Alamy)
Ronaldo began his professional career with Sporting (Image: Alamy)

Spanish giants Atletico Madrid have also been linked with Ronaldo and are said to still be considering a move for the former Real Madrid star, despite a potential backlash from the club's fans.

Any deal with Atletico could help United in their pursuit of Ronaldo's international teammate Joao Felix.

Reports in Spain claim the Red Devils have already had a huge €130m (£110m) bid rejected for the 22-year-old, who became the fourth-most expensive player in history when he joined Atletico in a club-record €126m (£106m) move from Benfica in 2019.

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While Ronaldo continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford, United manager Ten Hag insists the Portuguese remains fully committed to the club.

"That is your assumption [that Ronaldo wishes to depart]," said Ten Hag last week.

"That is not what he is telling me. So I deal with the players we have and we plan with him for this season and we have to fit him into the team so he has to come at the right fitness levels so that he can do the job that we expect him to do."

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Sporting Lisbon, Sporting CP, Football, Primeira Liga, Premier League, Transfers

Rory O'Callaghan
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