Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly been holding private talks with the club’s iconic former manager Alex Ferguson about his future at the underperforming Red Devils.
Ronaldo, 37, remains one of the finest finishers in the game but has cut a forlorn figure in recent weeks as Manchester United stumble towards the end of what has been a catastrophic season in which they are guaranteed to register their lowest-ever points tally in Premier League history.
The underperformance came after significant expenditure last summer where, in addition to Ronaldo, the club added former Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and England international Jadon Sancho – both of whom who have failed to impress in the red half of Manchester.
United would be in further trouble if it were not for Ronaldo’s 24 goals in all competitions but will face at least one season outside of Europe’s premier club competition, the Champions League, due to their abject performances authored by both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his interim replacement Ralf Rangnick – the German who was brought in to steady the ship but leaves with the lowest winning percentage of any Manchester United manager in recent memory.
Ronaldo has one year remaining on his deal at Old Trafford but has been linked with a move away as he attempts to claim another Champions League crown before hanging up his boots – but per a report by the Mirror, another legendary figure from within the club’s history is petitioning him to stay.
Alex Ferguson, who brought Ronaldo to Manchester in 2003, lives near the superstar footballer in Cheshire and is said to be a regular visitor as he looks to convince the star to fulfil the terms of his contract, with Ferguson also said to be concerned that Ronaldo abandoning ship would harm his legacy with United supporters.
The pair have also reportedly discussed at length the circumstances which led to the historically bad season at Old Trafford after Ronaldo arrived from Juventus.
So far, Ronaldo has refused to commit to staying at the club in advance of the arrival of new boss Erik ten Hag – even going so far as to respond to a fan account on Instagram to correct reports which suggested he said he had ‘unfinished business’ ahead of next season.
It remains unclear if Ronaldo would consider a season outside the Champions League at this stage of his career but Ferguson – who remains a key influencer at Old Trafford – seems to be doing all he can to convince one of the world’s greatest players to continue his career swan song where he first made his name.