Cristiano Ronaldo’s desire to leave Manchester United is said to have been amplified by frustration towards a pay cut written into his contract.
Ronaldo, who bagged 18 Premier League goals in 30 games last year, has asked to leave in search of Champions League football following United’s failure to qualify for the competition last year.
The 37-year-old’s United contract is understood to include a 25% pay cut as a result of the lack of Champions League football but, according to The Times, Ronaldo argued that United’s poor league performance was not his fault.
Ronaldo was frustrated with the wage cut, believing he had lived up to his side of the bargain with his 18 league goals.
To add to his frustration, Ronaldo is said to have been left unimpressed by manager Erik ten Hag’s furious response to United’s 4-0 defeat to Brentford.
The striker did not appreciate Ten Hag blaming his players and their alleged lack of effort during the game – the boss ordered a 14km run, which he also joined in on, as punishment for running 14km fewer than their opponents.
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Amid the fall-out to the game was Ten Hag’s realisation that he would beprepared to offload Ronaldo this summer.
Suitors for the Portugal international have been limited, with Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea all distancing themselves from making a move for Ronaldo.
However, 90min understands that Sporting CP are exploring ways to re-sign Ronaldo and could even offer him a stake in the club to make up for their inability to match his financial demands.