Cristiano Ronaldo was a no-show as Manchester United’s preseason training starts on Monday, but it appears it has nothing to do with his desire to leave the club.

The Portuguese striker has been in the headlines as of late after it was reported he wants to leave Manchester United in a bid to keep playing Champions League football. The Red Devils missed the cut for Europe’s biggest stage after finishing sixth in 2021-22 season of the Premier League.

According to The Athletic, however, Ronaldo didn’t join the team for Monday’s training because of family reasons. It is unknown when he’ll return, but his absence put fears that he’ll not be with the club in their pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia–although Manchester United have made it clear they want him there.

As cars carrying United players began to drive into Carrington from 7.30am on Monday, Ronaldo was not among them. Shortly before 9am confirmation arrived that Ronaldo was not expected at all. Family reasons had been cited and accepted by the club.

Whether he will report for duty before United fly out for their pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia on Friday is unclear. His attendance on that flight is seen as non-negotiable at this stage.

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It remains to be seen what will happen to Cristiano Ronaldo, though it is quite clear Manchester United don’t want him to leave.

Unfortunately, Ronaldo really wants to play Champions League football, with an earlier report stating that it is what keeps him going. Not to mention that there are already a number of teams interested in him should he be available.

While United can definitely salvage their relationship with the scorer, it is questionable whether he would have the same drive that he used to have even though he’s going only in the Europa League, which is definitely beneath him.