Man Utd's pre-season schedule as Red Devils head for Australia
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Manchester United owners the Glazers think there will be a backlash if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Old Trafford, according to reports. The Portugal international is keen to depart in this summer’s transfer window, less than a year after his Hollywood homecoming from Juventus. Yet there’s still no indication he’ll get his wish at the current moment in time.
Ronaldo has informed the United hierarchy that he wants to go providing a ‘suitable offer’ arrives for the forward this summer.
There’s been talk of a move to Chelsea, especially after new Blues owner Todd Boehly recently held talks with the forward’s agent Jorge Mendes.
And Bayern Munich are also in the hunt at a time where Robert Lewandowski is hoping to leave the Allianz Arena for Barcelona.
Now, the Mirror say the United owners are aware that there will be a backlash if the Portugal international gets his wish and is allowed to leave.
And that suggests they’re ready to dig their heels in.
However, while that’s the case, it’s also said Erik ten Hag would like the club to pursue Antony if Ronaldo ends up leaving.
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The Brazil international played under the Dutchman at Ajax and, last season, scored eight goals and clocked up four assists from 23 Eredivisie appearances.
United have been quoted a fee of £70million for the Samba star, who has drawn comparisons with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.
But Ten Hag is ‘willing to put pressure’ on the United hierarchy by making sure they push for his signature.
Ten Hag is supposedly ‘aware’ of the moves Ronaldo’s entourage have been making in recent times.
Yet the Red Devils aren’t willing to give up their prized asset without a fight, despite clubs circling.
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Chelsea are in the mix, with the Blues looking for a replacement for Romelu Lukaku – who was recently allowed to move back to Inter Milan on loan.
With Bayern braced to lose Lewandowski, Ronaldo would be an A-list replacement for the Poland international.
And two clubs from Italy have been credited with an interest, too.
Napoli can offer Ronaldo the chance to play in the Champions League, having finished third in the Serie A table last term – behind only AC Milan and Inter Milan.
And Roma are also in the hunt, with the United star previously playing under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
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Ten Hag had initially made Antony a priority target.
However, he apparently decided to focus on other areas of his squad instead after ‘quickly realising’ they needed addressing.
United are still optimistic of landing Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, despite Joan Laporta insisting he wanted the 25-year-old to stay.
Tyrell Malacia is poised to join from Feyenoord and provide competition for Luke Shaw at left-back.
And United are aiming to beat Arsenal to Lisandro Martinez, who has also played under Ten Hag at Ajax in recent years.
Meanwhile, speaking recently, former Leeds star Noel Whelan said United would be making a ‘marketing mistake and a footballing mistake’ if they let Ronaldo go this summer.
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“The team have moved backwards and the club have moved backwards,” he said.
“With his sellability in terms of shirt sales, they’d lose money on that front.
“He was the club’s top scorer last year despite it being a shocking season for them.
“How can you let your top goalscorer go. Someone with that amount of quality, even with his age at 37. He’s a serial winner.
“It would be a marketing mistake and a footballing mistake.”
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