Ronaldo was left out of Manchester United’s squad for their penultimate pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid in Oslo on Saturday.
However, United will also play against Rayo Vallecano the following day and although manager Erik ten Hag was expected to field an experimental side of youth team players in their final pre-season outing, it seems Ronaldo may also feature.
The Portuguese commented on an Instagram post dicussing his absence from the Norway trip, writing: “Domingo o rei joga”.
The 37-year-old wants to leave Old Trafford this summer and although the club insist he is not for sale, Ten Hag has left the forward behind after naming a 21-man group consisting largely of first-team players for Saturday’s match against Atletico.
There was no explanation given for Ronaldo’s absence, with United said other players such as Scott McTominay had been left behind due to injury.
Ronaldo’s future has been the subject of significant speculation since he did not show up to training on July 4 due to “family reasons”. It has been reported that the Portuguese wants to leave United in order to play Champions League football and he subsequently did not travel on the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.
Ronaldo returned to United’s Carrington training base this week alongside agent Jorge Mendes for showdown talks with new manager Ten Hag ahead of the new season. On Thursday night, he also posted a cryptic comment on social media, hitting out at “lies” after it was suggested Mendes was “less than positive” following the talks that Ronaldo would get his move.
New signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who also did not take part in United’s pre-season tour, were included in the travelling party to Norway. United open their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton next Sunday.