Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has broken his silence on rumours surrounding the future of team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo’s position at United has been uncertain since he reportedly told the club he wanted to leave earlier in July. According to the same reports, the Portuguese marksman cited a failure to qualify for the Champions League last season, and a lack of ambition as reasons behind why he wants out.
The 37-year-old was United’s top scorer in all competitions last season. He netted 18 goals in 30 Premier League appearances, with a further three assists. Hat-tricks came against Norwich and Tottenham.
Ronaldo’s presence was also keenly felt in the Champions League. He smashed in six goals from just five appearances in the group stage. He helped United to wins over Atalanta and Villarreal, as well as rescuing a late point during the away clash against the former.
Uncertainty grew future when the Portuguese icon missed the opening days of pre-season, with ‘family reasons‘ given as the explanation. He also has not travelled with the squad to Australia for their pre-season tour.
Does Erik ten Hag want to sell Ronaldo?
Despite claims that Ronaldo does want to leave Old Trafford this summer, new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag is seemingly keen to keep hold of his star forward.
Speaking at a press conference in Australia, Ten Hag said: “I think Cristiano is capable of doing that [playing in my team]. In his career, he has shown everything.
“I have set my demand. We want to play in a certain way. A top player can contribute, and Ronaldo is an absolute top player in our squad.
“The players dictate the way you play. Especially players who score goals, because they are extremely important for a team. You construct your team around them.”
Bruno Fernandes responds to Ronaldo rumours
Now, one of United’s key players has spoken out about the future of his club and international team-mate. Fernandes, who has recently taken the number eight shirt following the departure of Juan Mata, has made his feelings about Ronaldo’s contributions clear – and has also said that, contrary to reports, Ronaldo has not told him that he wants to leave.
“Obviously, Cristiano was our top scorer last season,” he told The Athletic. “He added goals to us. But obviously, it’s not on me. It’s on the club that has to make the choices, and Cristiano makes his own choice.
“I don’t know what’s going on in his head. If he wants to leave, it’s all about news. I didn’t ask them about that.
“The only thing I asked Cristiano, when he didn’t turn up, was if everything was OK with the family. He told me what was going on. That’s it, and nothing more.
“We have to respect the decision of everyone. I don’t know what Cristiano said to the club, to the manager. I don’t know what is going on in his head. But we have to respect his space. From everything we know, he had some family problems, so we have to give him some space. And that’s it.”
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