Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Man. United training and is expected to be involved in the friendly match against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. The game follows the friendly defeat to Atletico Madrid in Oslo on Saturday and is the last rehearsal for United ahead of the new campaign.
We appreciate you coming out, Oslo — we felt your support from the first whistle to the last 👏❤️#MUFC pic.twitter.com/CbDIHWpV5H
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 30, 2022
Cristiano hasn’t played any minute in the pre-season friendlies so far, with the club citing personal reasons to motivate his absence from first team preparation. The 37-year-old didn’t travel to Thailand and Australia, which United toured before returning to Carrington last week. Ronaldo was also left out of the squad to face Atletico Madrid on Sunday, in Oslo, despite training in Manchester this week.
United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed he is counting on Ronaldo for the Rayo match, which follows United’s 1-0 defeat by Atletico. Joao Felix scored the only goal in the game in the 86th minute.
“He will be in the squad,” Ten Hag said on Ronaldo. “We’ll see for how long he can play,” the Dutchman added.
“The players who played today from the start, they will not come on tomorrow,” Ten Hag revealed. “Tomorrow we will have a different starting 11,” he concluded.
Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Man United training 👀 pic.twitter.com/ubYB0KRrWb
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 30, 2022
According to sources inside the United dressing room, Ronaldo is still not convinced that staying is his best option for next season. The club insists he’s not for sale and the bookies tend to believe he’ll be at Old Trafford even beyond the end of the transfer window. Clubs are reluctant to sign him because of the financial implications such a move would bring, while Ronaldo would only accept a club that would fit his winning mentality.
United sits at -240 to keep Ronaldo, with Sporting next in the odds race at +300. Atletico Madrid stands at +750.