SPORT: Football
Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Man United this summer before the end of his contract.

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.

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