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Man Utd accept keeping Cristiano Ronaldo against his will could be detrimental

Manchester United have privately accepted that keeping Cristiano Ronaldo against his will could be detrimental to the club’s progress under new manager Erik ten Hag, The Mirror claim.

The Portuguese recently made a request to leave the Red Devils this summer as he is determined to play in the Champions League for the 20th-straight campaign.

United are still focused on keeping him for next season, but behind the scenes, there is the acknowledgement that they may have to part ways with the 37-year-old.

Ten Hag wants to implement his own playing style and philosophy this summer, and the club believe the speculation around Ronaldo could have a negative effect.

There is a feeling that keeping Ronaldo against his wish could create unwanted distractions which may undervalue the new era under their Dutch head coach.

United are still unlikely to make a rushed decision over Ronaldo. The £27 million-rated star has been told by the club that he is expected to take part in their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

Our view:

After a poor end to the previous campaign, there was much talk about Ten Hag’s regime, and how United could rebuild the squad with multiple marquee signings.

However, nothing of that sort has happened. The club are yet to make a single signing during the transfer window compared to Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

They were expected to make a statement with big-name purchases, but have hit a roadblock in negotiations. As things stand, Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia could be the first summer signing.

Aside from him, United have been tipped to land Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, but the discussions are still ongoing with the Spanish giants over the structure of the add-ons required.

The slow progress in transfers may have frustrated Ronaldo, who has now expressed the desire to move on. United are unlikely to block his exit despite the public not-for-sale stance.

Whether they have planned for such a situation remains to be seen. Since missing out on Darwin Nunez, the club have not entered talks for any other striker which is a cause for concern.

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