Mercato: The four months that led Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United to the breakup

June 2022: The first rumors of departure

After a season punctuated by a sad sixth place with Manchester United, and therefore without a ticket to the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo finds it hard to stay without his favorite competition. So, quickly, the first rumors of departure circulate in the British media. We are talking in particular about an improbable return to Real Madrid, or even to Sporting CP. Bayern Munich is also mentioned, which politely declines. The Atlético Madrid track is the same. But not only. In Italy, the Republic speaks of a possible departure from the AS Roma side of José Mourinho, who will dream of him almost all summer.

We are on June 17, and the transalpine daily already specifies that his history with the Red Devils is “ended” only one year after his surprise return. The trend is given, even if his trainer Erik ten Hag seems to say the opposite: “I spoke with Cristiano before this question (of his departure, editor’s note) was raised. We had a very good exchange“.

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July 2022: An absence and a resounding return

In the middle of the transfer window, and while his desires elsewhere feed all the tabloids, Cristiano Ronaldo does not show up for the resumption of training on July 4 for “personal reasons”. A few days later, the Red Devils travel to Thailand where the club is due to start its pre-season in early July. Then also the one in Australia.

Officially, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been granted extra time outside the squad to sort out a family issue and “remains under contract with Manchester United for one season and is not for sale”. However, the Chelsea rumor is starting to gain momentum across the Channel. And the result is nothing arranger.

On July 26, Ronaldo decided (finally) to return to Carrington, the Red Devils training center. But not alone. Indeed, Jorge Mendes, his historical agent, is present at his side. The club’s legendary former coach, Alex Ferguson, who made his CR7 debut in the Premier League, is also present to receive him alongside the current leaders for a summit meeting. She will not change positions: he wants to leave, his club wants to keep him. The file is at an impasse despite the salary effort that the interested party would be ready to make, around 30% less.

August 2022: End of the transfer window, end of hopes

The following weeks all end up looking the same. Jorge Mendes struggles to find a way out for his player, even offers clubs like AC Milan and Naples to bring him in in exchange for the departure of Rafael Leao and Victor Osimhen against XXL offers. They will never arrive. And to be honest, these two clubs have never been supposed by the hypothesis to recruit the 20th of the last Ballon d’Or.

All the tracks fly away one behind the other, with teams hesitant in front of age but especially the salary of the player. That of Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia) would offer him a golden bridge, a contract of 240 million euros over two years, but Ronaldo does not see himself going into exile right away. His obsession remains the C1, where he remains the top scorer in history with 140 goals. On September 1, at 11 p.m., the English transfer window closes its doors and CR7 then sees its hopes of leaving fly away. If the market remains open in other countries, none really tempts it.

September 2022: A changing status

In the meantime, the Premier League has resumed and the person concerned quickly understands that he will not have an indisputable starting status this season. And even a holder at all. In one month, from August 7, the date of the resumption, to September 18, the time of the international break, he was established only once against Brentford on the second day, a match lost very heavily (4-0 ) by his team. To start meetings, CR7 must be satisfied with the Europa League (4 tenures out of 4 matches) and its selection.

I don’t see him unhappy, he’s happy, he’s training well, he’s enjoying it. Everyone is training well, there is a good spirit“, then tempers Ten Hag in a press conference. But his player ruminates on the bench and simply begins to lose patience despite the smiles of the facade. The replacement costume is not for him. Neither is the role of joker. He is also struggling to find the net (two goals in all competitions to date) and seems to disagree with the philosophy of his new coach.

October 2022: Consternation, refusal and exclusion

On October 2, Cristiano Ronaldo watched helplessly as his team were defeated in the derby against Manchester City (6-3). “I didn’t let him in out of respect for his huge career“, said Ten Hag after the meeting to justify not having brought in his striker. But a week later, The temperature explains in his edition that the Portuguese star is “appalled” by the quality and quantity of the exercises provided in training, to the point of complaining to other elements of the club. For him, the style advocated by his coach will not bring his club back to the top. In his eyes, Ten Hag is simply “stubborn” and “too dogmatic”.

Ronaldo wants to play and it inflates him when he doesn’t, tells the Dutch technician the same week. But he trains well, with a good mood. He is motivated, gives the best of himself and that is what is expected of him” Problem, Wednesday, CR7 will do the opposite by heading to the locker room before the end of the match against Tottenham. According to the British media, he even left Old Trafford directly after refusing to settle in the field. The following day, Manchester United announced their dismissal from the group.

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