According to rumors, Manchester United will not punish Cristiano Ronaldo for leaving their pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano early. The wantaway forward made his debut appearance under Erik ten Hag in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the Spanish club, but he was observed departing Old Trafford before the game ended.
Ronaldo was given his first 45 minutes of pre-season in the stalemate. The 37-year-old only rejoined his teammates last week after a long summer break in Portugal, for which he cited “family reasons”.
But Ronaldo was pictured leaving the ground early following his substitution and did not remain to watch the rest of the game. It is unclear if this move was sanctioned by club staff or if Ronaldo made his way home of his own accord.
Old Trafford officials, on the other hand, have no problem with Ronaldo leaving early and insist that other players did as well. According to the Daily Star, the move does little to demonstrate Ronaldo’s desire to remain at the club.
United have insisted both publicly and privately that their best-paid player is not for sale. Ronaldo defied his age last season, scoring 24 goals across all competitions and dragging his teammates through some tough spells.
“We are planning for Cristiano Ronaldo for the season and that’s it. I’m looking forward to working with him. Cristiano is not for sale. He is in our plans and we want success together,” Erik ten Hag said in mid-July following strong reports of Ronaldo’s wish to leave.
“He’s not with us [on tour] and it’s due to personal issues. I spoke with him before this issue came up. I had a conversation with him and I had a good talk. That is between Cristiano and me. What I can confirm is we had a really good conversation together. I didn’t speak to him after (the news).