A report surfaced Thursday claiming that agent Jorge Mendes was “actively working” on an agreement for superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, largely because Dortmund were seen as Ronaldo’s “last hope” of joining a UEFA Champions League side before Sept. 1.
Somebody who would have some inside knowledge about such a potential transfer has poured cold water over the story.
Per Sky Sports News and London sports radio station TalkSport, Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has denied reports from multiple outlets saying that he’s close to signing Ronaldo.
“I love this player, it’s certainly a charming idea – to see Cristiano play at Signal Iduna Park,” Watzke explained. “But there is no contact at all between the parties involved. From that point of view, we should stop talking about it.”
Per the previously mentioned Thursday report, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag had Ronaldo running “punishment” laps in training this week after the five-time Ballon d’Or winner displayed poor body language during last weekend’s embarrassing 4-0 loss to Brentford that landed United at the bottom of the Premier League table. While it was said earlier this week that Ten Hag could let Ronaldo leave Old Trafford if it was decided the player’s “departure would be better for the club going forward,” the boss reiterated that the 37-year-old is not for sale.
“I don’t know why he is the focus in particular after Saturday [and the 4-0 loss to Brentford],” Ten Hag remarked during a press conference. “It was the team performance and the whole team’s attitude, including Ronaldo.
“He’s in our plans. That’s all I can say.”
Atletico Madrid and Chelsea reportedly once again turned-down opportunities to sign Ronaldo, who also couldn’t find a new footballing home with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.
Ten Hag and company are preparing to host rivals Liverpool on Monday night. Ronaldo’s status for that match is unclear heading into the weekend.