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Cristiano Ronaldo’s future in the balance as Eric ten Hag remains keen on keeping the Portuguese star

Ronaldo has started just once for Man United out of four opportunities in 2022-23 but the Red Devils has his preference regarding the future of the iconic forward

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo could be set for another plot twist involving his immediate future at Old Trafford after Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag made known his desire for the Portuguese great to remain at the club this summer.

It has been long reported that Ronaldo was unhappy at United and was maneuvering toward the exit row during the transfer window but has yet to find a potential suitor after spending just one season back at his old stomping grounds in the northwest of England.

Speculation continued to swirl during the summer window after United had been linked with multiple center-forwards and versatile frontmen the likes of Erling Haaland, Darwin Núñez, Cody Gakpo, Benjamin Šeško, Matheus Cunha, and Saša Kalajdžić, but thus far, not a single deal has materialized for Ten Hag and the recruitment team.

Despite Ronaldo starting just once across four Premier League fixtures thus far in 2022-23 during the club’s shock 4-0 loss against Brentford on match day two, Ten Hag remains in the corner of the Portuguese star regarding his desire to keep him at the club moving forward.

On the one hand, United remaining hopeful of keeping Ronaldo on the wage bill at Old Trafford shows the club may yet be capable of building an attack around him on the back of thin options through the middle, with just Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial the only other players capable of slotting into a center-forward role.

However, given United’s latest €90m (£76) bid for Ajax star Antony that was ultimately rebuffed by the Dutch giants once more as they seek to extract €100m (£85m) for the 22-year-old winger while making him the largest sale in Dutch football history, it would be much easier to keep Ronaldo in the senior setup rather than letting him walk and then trying to replace him via the market.

But the fact that Ronaldo still has yet to be utilized as a key puzzle piece this season due to his continued desire to leave before the window closes, the future looks to remain uncertain for the time being.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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