Ronaldo played just one game in pre-season after dealing with personal issues but is still in line to feature in United’s Premier League opener against Brighton due to the club’s lack of options in attack.
A stumbling block for Ronaldo also appears to be the lack of interest in the 37-year-old, with Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all ruling out a move for him.
With no obvious destination apparent for the Portuguese legend and United considering him an integral part of the team, FootballTransfers takes a look at the possible outcomes for Ronaldo.
Ronaldo’s ideal preference would be to be sold as he is desperate for another opportunity to compete in the Champions League, although it would require him to take a significant wage cut.
Even if Ronaldo chooses to lower his demands, there is no guarantee that it would convince a team to make a bid for him, with United not willing to let Ronaldo leave for free either.
United would not consider selling Ronaldo without having a replacement lined up, something which they have struggled with all summer, meaning a permanent move is the least likely of outcomes.
Loan Ronaldo out?
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has held negotiations with United over the potential of extending his client’s contract for another season, with his current deal set to expire next summer.
While it may seem counter-intuitive given Ronaldo’s desire to leave, an additional year on his contract would allow United to protect any value he might have and allow both parties to re-assess the situation at the end of the season.
A new deal would also allow the possibility of Ronaldo to be loaned out, a move which would be much more appealing to teams due to the lack of a transfer fee and the potential for United to cover a portion of his wages.
A loan appears to be the most likely option if Ronaldo were to depart but it would all depend on United’s desire to pay the wages of their highest earner while he plays for another club.
The most realistic outcome, as it stands, would be for Ronaldo to see out his contract and spend the season at United, despite it resulting in an unhappy player.
Although there may be concerns over his attitude should he be forced to stay against his will, ultimately Ronaldo is a professional and would likely accept his fate once the transfer window is closed.
For United, there is no incentive to sell their top scorer from last season despite doubts over his ability to play in Erik ten Hag’s system, particularly with no obvious replacement lined up.
With Anthony Martial picking up a hamstring injury, it leaves Marcus Rashford and Ronaldo as the only senior players available to play up front, meaning Ronaldo is certain to stay for another few weeks at least.