Cristiano Ronaldo’s representatives have allegedly told Manchester United that he is prepared to walk out on the club this summer for the second time, if the Red Devils fail to qualify for the Champions League, according to reports. The 36-year-old superstar is now facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford as the club struggle for direction under interim boss Ralf Rangnick, following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
United are now being forced to come to terms with the prospect of missing out on the top-four due to their inconsistent Premier League form, having now taken just five points from their past four matches.
Rangnick’s men surrendered a 2-0 lead at Aston Villa on Saturday to draw 2-2 with Steven Gerrard’s battling side, a result that plunges their Champions League prospects into further doubt.
Upon leaving Juventus last August, Ronaldo simply returned to United to win and at the moment, hopes of silverware this term remain nothing more than a pipe dream.
He recently attempted to rally his team-mates with a hard-hitting, honest interview with Sky Sports in which he ruled the mentality of the squad needs to change if they are to make something of their season.
The Portugal international is determined to continue playing until he is at least 40 and ideally, he wants to remain at the highest level.
His plan is to sign off a record-breaking, history-making, champion but as it stands, his club career is threatening to fizzle out.
Upon signing for United for a second time, Ronaldo penned a two-year contract with the option to extend for a further 12 months.
Yet the lack of harmony and morale around the United camp has created cause for concern on Ronaldo’s part.
He recently suggested that the younger players within the squad were not peppered to take on board advice from the experienced members of the team.
Ronaldo did also admit that he needs to be on song if players are to look up to him for inspiration: “The mature players, the older players, they can always help the young players.
“But I can give an example. If I give you advice, even if you are younger than me, if you don’t implant that during your daily life, it will be difficult.
“I can speak all day with that person, but if it’s not coming from inside of you, it’s impossible.”
While there is nothing concrete in regards to an exit at this stage, there are few clubs in world football that can satisfy Ronaldo’s wage demands…