Cristiano Ronaldo has made an official request to leave Manchester United this summer so he can continue playing Champions League football next season, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
The news was first reported by The Times.
The Portugal captain returned to United a year ago for a second spell at Old Trafford and has scored 18 goals in 30 league games, but the team finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for next season’s elite European club competition.
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Ronaldo, 37, has a contract with the Red Devils until June 2023 with an option to extend it by another year, but has now asked for a transfer.
Sources have told ESPN that United have informed Ronaldo that he is not available for a transfer this summer and that they expect him to stay for the remainder of his contract year.
ESPN understand that Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Napoli, among others, are interested in adding Ronaldo.
Despite his avowed respect and love for United and his fans, the former Real Madrid star feels he needs the motivation to play in the Champions League at the final stage of his career. Ronaldo is said to see it as essential to play in the Champions League and fight for big trophies.
United have appointed Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag to replace caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick and during his revelation last month he said Ronaldo was part of his plans for the upcoming season.
Ronaldo joined United in 2003 from Portuguese club Sporting CP.
He scored 118 goals in 292 games before joining Real Madrid in 2009, where he stayed until his move to Juventus in 2018.
Ronaldo failed to win the Champions League with Juve in his three seasons with the Torino giants, but he did lift the trophy with United in 2008 and four times with Madrid. He was Serie A top scorer in the last two seasons in Turin, scoring 101 goals in 134 appearances.
The former Real Madrid star has won 32 titles in his career, including seven league titles and five Champions League titles.
He captained Portugal to Euro 2016 and the 2019 UEFA Nations League.
A five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo holds the men’s world record for most goals scored (117) in international matches.
Later this year he will captain Portugal at the World Cup.
Information from ESPN FC correspondent Rob Dawson was used in this report.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/cristiano-ronaldo/story/4693901/cristiano-ronaldo-requests-manchester-united-transfer-to-play-in-champions-league-sources Cristiano Ronaldo requests Manchester United transfer to play in Champions League