MANCHESTER UNITED could actually be better off WITHOUT Cristiano Ronaldo leading their attack.
The Portuguese six-time Ballon d’Or winner rocked the club when he informed them that he wishes to move on to pastures new last weekend.
Ronaldo, 37, wasn’t part of the returning crop of players for pre-season training on Monday as he was given extra time off due to family reasons.
Instead, he was spotted at his country’s national training ground in Lisbon, the city where his partner Georgina Rodriguez and his extended family currently are.
Now it remains unclear if he will return and fly to Asia and Australia on Friday with the rest of the squad for the club’s pre-season tour after he was “effectively given indefinite leave” by the club.
The Red Devils are adamant that Ronaldo, who was top scorer with 24 goals last season, will see out the second campaign of his two-year guaranteed contract.
However, those United fans that adore him will no doubt be left feeling worried about the future and what they will do without the veteran in their attack should he depart.
However, shock stats have revealed that Ronaldo may perhaps have had a detrimental impact on the club.
The star led the line for most of last season, and despite him topping the individual charts, United only managed to find the net 57 times in the Premier League.
However, the season before his arrival last September proved to be much more fruitful as they scored 73 goals in 38 top-flight matches.
You may think that is clutching at straws, but even his former club Juventus’ goal output dried up after he moved there.
The Italian side fired 86 goals in their 2017/18 Serie A title-winning campaign.
But in the three years that followed after he joined from Real Madrid that tally dropped to 70, 76 and then 77.
It remains to be seen what transpires when he finally meets new United boss Erik ten Hag for face-to-face talks once he returns to Carrington for work.But things just might not be as bad as feared should he join one of the host of big-name rivals that are chasing his services.