Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo’s alliance could soon be over. While Erik ten Hag has publicly insisted he desires to keep the 37-year-old, he’s believed to be open to a sale behind the scenes at Old Trafford. And, in Jadon Sancho, the Red Devils have already got one player who wants his famous No 7 shirt…
It wasn’t meant to be like this.
When Ronaldo returned to United last summer, after 12 years away on the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus, many thought he’d be the ticket to Premier League title glory.
He has built on his legacy with 26 goals across all competitions within the time since, with 24 of them coming under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last term.
But, with each passing game, it’s becoming increasingly clear Ronaldo is yesterday’s man.
A departure in January could happen, with Ten Hag long being prepared to part ways with the fading 37-year-old.
His stance is more likely to have hardened within the wake of Ronaldo’s strop against Tottenham on Wednesday, when he refused to come back on despite the needs of his manager.
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And though Ten Hag has publicly insisted he can count on the forward between now and the top of the season, a departure within the Latest 12 months is looking increasingly likely.
Should Ronaldo go, the famous No 7 shirt will turn out to be vacant.
It’s a jersey which means more to United fans than every other, having been worn by club icons equivalent to Ronaldo, David Beckham, George Best and Eric Cantona through the years.
United even filmed a video with Ronaldo, Beckham and Cantona back in the summertime with the trio talking about how much it means to them.
That footage was shelved, nonetheless, at a time where the jersey’s current occupant was seeking to leave the club to pursue a latest challenge elsewhere.
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If a departure does happen, then it would pave the best way for Sancho to get the digit he craves probably the most.
In 2020, when United were pursuing the England international, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promised Sancho he could inherit the number following the departure of Alexis Sanchez.
A move did not materialise, though, with Sancho forced to remain at Borussia Dortmund for an additional 12 months.
By the point he joined United last summer, the No 7 was being worn by Edinson Cavani – who refused to present it up.
Yet the Uruguay international made an exception for Ronaldo, allowing his experienced team-mate to tackle the jersey he’d worn during his first stint on the club.
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With Cavani now gone, and Ronaldo more likely to follow in the approaching months, Sancho will probably be hoping to get his dream shirt number.
And it could even proved to be the ticket to getting the 22-year-old back to his Dortmund best
Sancho began the season well, scoring in victories over the likes of Liverpool and Leicester.
But he’s regressed in recent times and appears to have lost his spark, which doesn’t bode well for the longer term as things stand.
Meanwhile, regarding Ronaldo, former Arsenal and Chelsea star Emmanuel Petit has slammed the forward and insisted he’s ‘tiring everyone’.
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“He tires everyone: the supporters, his teammates. They don’t want him anymore within the locker room, he pollutes everyone a lot,” he said.
“He has an exceptional profession, when he stops we’ll all be unanimous in saying it, but his behaviour is so individualistic.
“His message yesterday on social media. You understand you don’t like what’s occurring along with your club, you’ll be able to’t stand your coach Ten Hag anymore, you’re feeling like you might be disrespected for what you may have done, but your status not exists!
“You are not any longer the identical player, you may have been demoted, you may have suffered a downgrade, but you don’t accept it because your ego is so oversized.
“Say it real! It might probably’t be defensible.”
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