Cristiano Ronaldo vowed he would play for Manchester United on Sunday in a preseason friendly against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford, and he indeed returned to the starting XI for new manager Erik ten Hag.
Amid ongoing rumors about his potential transfer, Ronaldo recently posted on Instagram: “Sunday, the King plays.” Then after Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid, which did not feature Ronaldo, ten Hag acknowledged the Portuguese star likely would suit up Sunday.
Cristiano Ronaldo has one year left on his contract and reportedly wants out in order to go to a more competitive club after Manchester United finished sixth in the English Premier League last season. This sixth-place finish means no Champions League this season, with a date in the Europa League set instead.
As the 37-year-old's career winds down, Ronaldo wants to be playing for Champions League titles. However, possible suitors such as Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea all seem to be out of the running.
After missing time for “personal reasons,” Cristiano Ronaldo returned to training Tuesday and had talks with ten Hag, who has maintained a desire to keep the legend for the upcoming season. Ronaldo returned to Manchester United last season after his stint with Juventus, and ten Hag took over as manager earlier this year.
Manchester United recently signed Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen, and the club is also still trying to snag Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona. That kind of big move would hopefully help Ronaldo feel a bit better about staying.