Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Manchester United for the final year of his contract, according to AS.
The 37-year-old rejoined the Red Devils from Juventus after a 12-year gap last summer. The move came out of the blue as he was initially predicted to join arch-rivals Manchester City.
Ronaldo has since bagged 18 goals across all competitions, but his form has been poor since January. He has netted just four goals in 2022, three of those coming against Tottenham Hotspur.
Amidst this, there has been talk that Ronaldo could push for a fresh challenge away from Old Trafford, particularly if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
However, AS reports that Ronaldo will stay committed for the final year of his United deal with the hierarchy admitting that they made a ‘mistake’ in appointing Ralf Rangnick as interim boss.
Ronaldo has had a ‘bad relationship’ with Rangnick since February. It is claimed that the first-team squad don’t believe the German is at the level to manage a club of the Red Devils’ calibre.
Meanwhile, the board could also take drastic measures. Rangnick is due to become a consultant for the next two seasons, but there are now suggestions that he could be dismissed.
Rangnick was appointed as interim manager amid much fanfare in December, but the German has not been able to turn around the club’s fortunes in recent months.
While the league form has been pretty decent, several frustrating draws have hampered the club’s prospects of Champions League football. They still have a genuine chance of making the top four.
However, the fans will be most disappointed by the nature of the exits in the FA Cup and Champions League. The performances were poor with the lack of cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.
There was initial talk about Rangnick continuing as manager next season, and that appears a foregone conclusion now, considering the 63-year-old’s fragile relationship with several first-team stars.
Ronaldo being the most valuable player in the United squad has won the ‘definitive battle’ with Rangnick. It remains to be seen whether the latter will become an advisor with the talk of him being sacked.
The forward’s current deal expires in the summer of 2023, but there is a 12-month option. Ronaldo could be tempted to stay beyond next season if progress is made under the next permanent manager.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com