Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha believes his old club should look to sell Cristiano Ronaldo this summer if ‘he doesn’t want to play for them anymore’.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner didn’t attend Man Utd’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, citing family reasons as an explanation for his absence, with speculation over his future continuing to dominate the summer narrative for the club.
He recently returned to Man Utd’s training complex alongside his agent, Jorge Mendes, on Tuesday morning, with Sir Alex Ferguson also captured turning up at Carrington, though it is believed he was in attendance for a routine board meeting with chief executive Richard Arnold.
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Despite Ronaldo appearing to push for the Old Trafford exit doors this summer in search of a club currently playing in the Champions League, Erik ten Hag has continued to insist that the 37-year-old is very much a part of his plans for the upcoming season.
With the Premier League’s starting pistol fast approaching and a resolution on the Ronaldo situation yet to materialise, Saha — who played alongside the Portuguese at Man Utd between 2004 and 2008 — believes his former club must “make a decision”, or risk further “disruption” to Ten Hag’s early tenure.
When asked by Squawka (courtesy of bet365) whether Man Utd should sell Ronaldo, Saha responded: “Yeah, if he doesn’t want to play for the club anymore, you have to get rid of him.
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“He didn’t participate in the tour; he’s not been in training, so you have to show discipline.
“He’s a world class player so maybe his circumstances are unique but there is a limit to what you can take.
“The group needs to gel, it’s not an individual sport. I’m the biggest supporter of Cristiano, I understand his priorities but at some point, the disruption has to stop.
“You have to make a decision and I’m keen to see how it all plays out.”
Man Utd take on Brighton in their 2022/23 Premier League curtain-raiser, but before that showdown on home soil, Ten Hag has two more pre-season friendlies to navigate, coming against Atletico Madrid in Norway this weekend, before finishing up against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday.