Man Utd ‘downplay’ reports that Ronaldo return to Sporting is ’99 per cent done’

Man Utd have downplayed reports that Cristiano Ronaldo is close to rejoining Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon this summer.

The Portugal international told the Red Devils hierarchy earlier this summer that he would like to leave the club this summer if they receive an offer that satisfies all parties.

But his agent struggled to arouse interest in his client despite Ronaldo scoring 24 goals in 38 games in all competitions last season.

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Apart from an offer from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club, there has been little concrete interest in Ronaldo as Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag is now reportedly ready to let him go.

A report from Caught offside insisted yesterday that Ronaldo was close to a return to Sporting Lisbon before the transfer window closed.

The report said a deal was “99 percent complete,” adding:

“Jorge Mendes has worked tirelessly to bring his star client back to his old club and an agreement was recently reached with Manchester United who are willing to be financially flexible to sell their number seven. The proposed deal is now, as we understand it, nearing completion.

“We have been informed that the Sporting Lisbon Board of Directors has already scheduled a meeting with an external communications company specializing in public events for Friday morning, when the first stages of presentation preparations will begin.”

But now the Daily Mail have spoken to sources at Man Utd who have ‘downplayed’ the likelihood of a move this summer.

With Man Utd sources throwing cold water at these reports, former Premier League defender Alan Hutton expects Ronaldo to be relegated to a supporting player this season.

Asked if he thought Ronaldo would be on the Man Utd bench for their next game against Southampton, Hutton said football insider: “I think so.

“Hard to say, he’s one of the icons of the sport. He’s been one of the best players for more than 10 years, so it’s a bit strange not to see him play.

“The way Erik ten Hag wants to play, the intensity, closing from the front, everyone running, working hard, that doesn’t quite suit Ronaldo and at this point in his career.

“I think he’s going to have to step back. Of course he can come, make his cameos, he will score goals, but I don’t see him at the moment in the way Ten Hag wants to play his football.”

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