Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground as he prepares for crunch talks with Erik ten Hag about his Old Trafford future.
The 37-year-old has missed the first three weeks of the club’s pre-season – including the whole of their tour of Thailand and Australia – after being given compassionate leave for a family issue.
It came against a backdrop of Ronaldo asking to leave United this summer as he feels he is unable to compete for the biggest trophies at Old Trafford.
The forward’s agent Jorge Mendes arrived with him on Tuesday morning at around 10am, an hour before United’s players were due to arrive for training.
Also at Carrington is Sir Alex Ferguson – who first signed Ronaldo for United as an 18-year-old in 2003.
The star played at Old Trafford for six seasons under the legendary manager before departing for Real Madrid, but he still considers Ferguson as an important mentor.
The Scot was influential in Ronaldo returning to the Red Devils last summer as he persuaded the forward not to join rivals Manchester City, so United will hope he can have a similar impact again.
In May, it was reported that the pair had been holding regular chats about Ronaldo’s future as they live near each other in Cheshire.
It is claimed that they discussed how United’s season fell apart as they recorded their worst ever Premier League points total, but Ferguson urged Ronaldo to stay at least another year to ‘protect his legacy’.
Completing the set of key figures involved in the showdown talks, United chief executive Richard Arnold was also pictured arriving at the training ground earlier in the morning. Erik ten Hag was also one of the first figures to arrive.
Ten Hag talked to Ronaldo when he took over at the end of last season, but it will be the first time the two men have spoken since the player asked to go.
Contact between the two camps has been maintained by Arnold and Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes who has been hawking his client around Europe’s top clubs.
Ronaldo’s return is being seen as a positive sign, although it’s still unclear whether he is ready to commit to United for another season or re-iterate his desire to be sold.
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