The financial situation at Man Utd could see Cristiano Ronaldo stay at the club until the end of the season, according to reports.
Ronaldo spent most of the summer transfer window looking for a way out of Old Trafford but a lack of interest from other clubs saw him remain a Red Devil.
New Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag was keen to keep Ronaldo around this season with the Premier League side struggling to find an adequate replacement at the right price.
Ten Hag has only afforded the Portugal international two Premier League starts this campaign with Ronaldo finding himself on the substitutes’ bench on a number of occasions.
And, with Ronaldo desperate to start every game, the 37-year-old refused to come off the bench in their 2-0 victory over Tottenham last week before choosing to leave the stadium early.
Ronaldo was fined and made to train by himself after the incident, with Ten Hag leaving him out of his squad for the 1-1 draw against Chelsea at the weekend.
And now The Athletic insist that Ronaldo and Ten Hag will hold talks before the timeline for his ‘reintegration’ into the first-team squad is decided.
The report adds:
‘Ten Hag is adamant he wants Ronaldo as an option for the rest of the season, but first wants to hear what the Portuguese thinks about the situation and whether he can countenance not being a starter every week.
‘Should Ronaldo accept flexibility over his selection and express contrition, it is expected he will re-join first-team training. If he rejects a reduced role and presses to leave again then Ten Hag would allow him to once more explore finding a new club.’
It is now understood that Man Utd will allow Ronaldo to leave on a free transfer after they put off a number of suitors by asking for a fee in the summer transfer window.
However, there are doubts that Ronaldo would ‘sacrifice the remaining six months of his United salary’ but the Red Devils will be in no mood to pay him off.
An alternative could be that United come to an agreement with him over his owed wage, negotiating a one-off sum worth less than the overall contracted commitment but in reality, this is a remote possibility. After spending over budget in the summer, United have scant room for manoeuvre financially and would not pay up Ronaldo so he can sign somewhere else.’
‘Even as it is, January is shaping up to be a quiet month for United, and signing a replacement is not on the agenda unless a low-cost emergency solution can be found. Paying first to let Ronaldo go does not stack up from United’s perspective.’