Cristiano Ronaldo has risked the wrath of Manchester United fans again after he was spotted leaving Old Trafford while they were still playing their pre-season clash with Rayo Vallecano.
The Portuguese star made his first appearance under Erik ten Hag on Sunday as the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw by their Spanish opponents. All the attention was on Ronaldo, who wants to quit the club this summer, and he lasted just 45 minutes before being replaced at half-time.
And the uncertainty regarding his his future has taken yet another twist after he appeared to leave the stadium before the game had even finished. Pictures emerged on social media of Ronaldo and Diogo Dalot, who was not part of the squad on Sunday, making their way towards the Old Trafford car park as fans attempted to take pictures with the wantaway star.
Manchester United declined to comment if Ronaldo’s early departure was sanctioned. It no doubt raises further questions over his future. Ronaldo has made no secret of his desire to leave this summer and this latest incident will potentially frustrate Ten Hag and United supporters.
The 37-year-old striker missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to family reasons amid reports he wants to quit the club. Ronaldo returned to United’s training ground earlier this week to discuss his future with new boss Ten Hag.
Ten Hag has previously said the 37-year-old is “not for sale” and “in our plans”, but it has been reported that Ronaldo wants to play Champions League football. United failed to qualify for this season’s Champions League after finishing sixth in the Premier League last term.
Ten Hag’s team instead will compete in the Europa League this season. Ronaldo has a year left on his United contract after rejoining from Juventus last August.
He made his name at United after signing from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, spending six years at Old Trafford before joining Real Madrid for a then-world record transfer fee of £80million.
Ronaldo, who was United’s top scorer with 24 goals last season, has been training at the Portuguese national team’s headquarters in Lisbon. He returned to the club’s Carrington training base last week and has been working hard on his fitness.