Napoli director rubbishes Cristiano Ronaldo links as Man Utd star set to stay

Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to remain at Old Trafford after Napoli denied claims that a move for the Portugal star was close.

Ronaldo has spent most of the summer on the hunt for a new club. After Manchester United failed to qualify for the Champions League, their No.7 sought teams that had qualified for the competition in 2022/23.

As part of the ongoing saga, Ronaldo missed United’s pre-season tours – although this was due to family reasons.

Unfortunately, Europe’s top sides decided against signing Ronaldo, despite his agent’s best efforts. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea were among the clubs linked to a move for the Portugal captain.

However, they all said no, deciding that a 37-year-old did not fit with their budget or philosophies.

Most recently, Napoli seemed like the most promising exit route from Old Trafford for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Napoli distance themselves from Cristiano Ronaldo move

Despite numerous rumours linking Cristiano Ronaldo to Napoli, a move has failed to materialise.

Earlier this week, Manchester Evening News reported that the Serie A side were in talks to bring Ronaldo back to Italy. He had previously had a stint at Juventus after leaving Real Madrid.

Rather than a permanent deal, agent Jorge Mendes sought to thrash out a loan move for his star client. Mendes has a good relationship with the Napoli hierarchy, adding further optimism to negotiations. But, sadly, elements such as wages caused issues over any potential transfer.

Finally, Napoli themselves came out to put any rumours of a move for Cristiano Ronaldo to bed.

“Cristiano Ronaldo deal? There was absolutely nothing true,” confirmed director Cristiano Giuntoli (quotes via Metro). “We have got a good relationship with Jorge Mendes, and nothing else.”

This means that Man United will likely keep their No.7, something that the manager is happy about.  

Erik ten Hag on Ronaldo

Now that the saga has seemingly reached its end, boss Erik ten Hag has said that Ronaldo would not have stayed at Old Trafford if he didn’t want to.

“We are on the same page,” confirmed Ten Hag, via Sky Sports. “[He is happy to stay] otherwise he wouldn’t be here.

“From the start, we said we planned with him [Ronaldo], we are happy with him, he’s happy to be here. And we want to make the season a success together. It’s clear we have strengthened the squad.

“As a manager, you always want more, and what I demand from my players I have to show as well. I always want to maximise, but at a certain point you have to be satisfied with what is there.”

Ten Hag also played down fears that Ronaldo does not fit into his style of play when discussing the forward. He has made just one start for United thus far, coming off the bench three times.

“The way of playing, the set of demands, you can see in training Ronaldo has the ability,” said the manager. “He will fit in because… I don’t have to explain, he is a great player with great capabilities. He will fit in every system and every style. We are on one page, and he knows what the demands are.”

Ronaldo is consequently in the squad for the Red Devils’ game against Leicester tonight. The extent of his involvement remains to be seen.

Featured Image Credit: Getty