Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo faces a huge predicament as he may no longer suit the club’s style of play, nor be able to find a new team in the Champions League.
The 37-year-old striker regularly appears in the country’s back pages after hinting he was considering leaving the club this summer.
As things stand, neither club have made any significant progress in their pursuit of the striker, with Erik ten Hag handing him his first pre-season appearance as he played 45 minutes of the friendly against Rayo Vallecano sunday.
With Ronaldo still looking for a transfer, Ally McCoist believes United cannot afford to change their strategy to welcome a player nearing the end of his career.
He told talkSPORT Breakfast: “It’s a tough scenario, but what’s the point of keeping a disgruntled player going to cause trouble in your dressing room?
“As soon as he said he wanted to leave, I thought that would work in Ten Hag’s favor because it would give him the opportunity to move on.
“The future of Manchester United is not Cristiano Ronaldo. I don’t believe for a minute that it is.
“As wonderful as it has been, and it certainly has been, Manchester United are looking to build for the future.”
“Ten Hag will not build his team around Ronaldo. No chance.
“He’s 37. He’s one of the best players we’ve ever seen, but you don’t build your team around someone that age. It’s in both parties’ interests to find him. another club.
Those sentiments were echoed by Jamie O’Hara, who said: “He’s one of the great players of all time, but he always has to be part of a team and be part of a team.
“He’s obviously trying to force his way out of there. He wanted out and there aren’t enough suitors to pick him up.
“His salary is too big, you have to change the way you play if he plays in your side and I think maybe he thought there would be teams lining up to sign him and he didn’t. there was none.
“Now he had to go again, he didn’t train properly or didn’t have a good pre-season.
“Man United want to go in a different direction now where it’s about the team and the philosophy of how Ten Hag wants to do it, and I don’t know how Ronaldo is going to fit into that.
“What he can’t do is walk away and be a bad egg in the dressing room. It’s not him, I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about.
As for Ronaldo’s next destination, it’s still unclear where he will be playing his football this term.
Chelsea were previously linked, as were Atletico Madrid before fans intervened.
And European football expert Andy Brassell gave talkSPORT an update on his possible transfer.
He said: “There was a letter published last week by a group of Atletico fans saying he was against the whole spirit and values of the club.
“It shows how close his options have become. I think at the moment perhaps the most realistic option for him is a return to Sporting.”
A return to his first professional club could be a plausible option for Ronaldo, with O’Hara saying a move to a Champions League club could be hard to come by.
“Sport could be an option to go and win something there with his old club,” agreed O’Hara.
“Or the MLS. Does he go out there? He would be a huge signing in MLS.
Responding to Brazil asking him if he wants the Champions League, O’Hara said: “Will he get the Champions League? He’s asked and people are asking if they want him. He’s been shopped around and there are not enough teams that will have it.
“A lot of managers look at him and think he’s an amazing player and he’ll score goals but will have to change the way the team plays if he’s in it. Managers will look at him and think that’s probably more trouble than it’s worth.
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