Sporting CP coach Ruben Amorim has ruled out bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club where he started his professional career.
Ronaldo asked Manchester United to consider offers this summer and was later granted additional time off for family reasons. The 37-year-old eventually returned to training and played just 45 minutes of pre-season friendly ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener against Brighton.
“We plan on Cristiano Ronaldo for the season and that’s it. I look forward to working with him. Cristiano is not for sale. He is in our plans and together we want success,” United manager Erik ten Hag said at the end of July.
United are standing firm as Ronaldo is under contract for another season, but bids for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner have also been lacking.
Chelsea have been heavily linked but have decided against a formal pursuit, while Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid have both publicly ruled out an approach – Oliver Kahn said such a move would not fit Bayern’s philosophy, while Enrique Cerezo said it was “virtually impossible” for Atlético.
Now Sporting appear to have ruled themselves out of what would be a shock.
“He’s a Manchester United player and I’m not going to comment on options that don’t exist. He is a Manchester United player and it looks like he will continue [there],” Sporting boss Amorim told the media after Sunday’s Primeira Liga draw against Braza.
Born in Madeira, Ronaldo moved to Lisbon at the age of 12 to join Sporting’s academy. He initially struggled on the mainland but continued to rise through the ranks and made his first-team debut just five years later before being snapped up by United aged 18 for £12.24m.
When Ronaldo first arrived at United, he wanted to wear the number 28 shirt he wore for Sporting. But it was Sir Alex Ferguson who convinced him to let the number seven shirt be vacated by David Beckham, and he has since become synonymous with the number.