Cristiano Ronaldo could cut short his second spell at Manchester United after apparently being disappointed with the current situation at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese sealed a sensational return to the Premier League in August, 12 years after leaving United for Real Madrid for a record fee of £80million.
The 37-year-old picked up where he left off at Old Trafford, scoring five goals in his first four appearances in all competitions and proving in every moment the talismanic figure United were desperate for.
However, as the Red Devils struggled for consistency, the excitement generated by Ronaldo’s return quickly evaporated and, according to The Sun, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is considering leaving the club again for the second times before his two-year contract. runs out in the summer of 2023.
The report suggests Ronaldo has been far from impressed with United’s decline on and off the pitch, with the club falling behind Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea over the past decade.
United have gone eight years without lifting the Premier League trophy and this season they are already out of both domestic cups and currently sixth in the league, 21 points behind leaders City.
And unless Ralf Rangnick can somehow inspire his players to secure a highly unlikely Champions League triumph, United face the prospect of finishing the season without silverware for the fifth consecutive year.
By contrast, Ronaldo won nine major trophies in his first six seasons at Old Trafford, including three consecutive Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.
Likewise, the Euro 2016 winner would also not be impressed with the quality of the squad, which is not on par with those of the top Premier League clubs or the United teams Ronaldo played in. under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The club have spent north of £900m on players over the past nine years but have failed to mount a credible title challenge in the period.
Ronaldo’s arrival in the summer was supposed to solve the problem, but after starting the season on the right foot and scoring decisive late Champions League goals against Villarreal and Atalanta — and an injury-time equalizer against the latter — the goals have dried up for him. .
The five-time Champions League winner hasn’t scored in his last five Premier League games and has found the net just twice in his last nine appearances in all competitions.
Ronaldo was benched for United’s trip to Turf Moor against Burnley on Tuesday and was a largely peripheral figure when he arrived with just over 20 minutes to play.
While he remains the Red Devils’ top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions, his current form represents his worst goal drought in club football for 12 years.
United had 52 shots combined against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and Burnley but only found the net twice and Rangnick conceded Ronaldo and his team-mates need to do better in front of goal.