Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man United exit complicated by Atletico Madrid striker’s transfer refusal

    Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Manchester United.
    Cristiano Ronaldo has made his desire to leave Manchester United this summer clear. (Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United is being compromised by fellow forward Angel Correa’s refusal to leave potential buyers Atletico Madrid.

    37-year-old Ronaldo has made clear his desire to leave Old Trafford this summer just a year after returning to United from Juventus, with a lack of Champions League football and the subsequent drop in salary defined by the terms of his contract cited as the major reasons behind that decision.

    But agent Jorge Mendes has struggled to find a route out of United for Ronaldo, who was the club’s top scorer with 24 goals last season but was routinely criticised for hampering the team’s overall shape and the development of much younger forwards in the squad.

    Mendes discussed a potential switch to Chelsea with the club’s new owner Todd Boehly, but no offer has materialised and the Blues have now signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City this summer.

    With Real Madrid and Barcelona unwilling to make Ronaldo an offer, and Paris Saint-Germain already possessing all of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in attack, the Portuguese star’s options are limited. After a lucrative approach from Saudi Arabia was given short shrift, the chances of a European club matching both Ronaldo’s ambition and salary demands has diminished.

    Mendes’ search has led him to Atletico Madrid, with Diego Simeone apparently keen on signing on Ronaldo, but the La Liga side currently falls foul of La Liga’s financial regulations and needs to sell players before any new ones can be brough in.

    That has led to rumours that Argentinian international forward Angel Correa could be sold in order to make room for Ronaldo, but the 27-year-old insists he will be remaining in the Spanish capital for the upcoming season.

    ‘These rumours reached me from friends and family, saying that I wanted to leave,’ said Correa according to Mundo Deportivo. ‘There is nothing to see here. I don’t understand where the news comes from. I’m sure it’s from someone who didn’t want me to continue, but I’m very happy here and it’s clear I want to continue and help the team.’

    Correa has scored 59 goals in 329 appearances for Atletico since joining from San Lorenzo in his homeland in 2015, and Simeone has other options including Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha, Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata at his disposal in attack.

    If Correa’s stubborn stance persists, Ronaldo and United could be forced to spend a further awkward season together.

    MORE : Erik ten Hag dropped Manchester United star for being late to team meeting

    MORE : Man Utd patience with Cristiano Ronaldo wearing thin as Erik ten Hag suffers further blow

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