Galatasaray are reportedly preparing a mid-season move for Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 37-year-old’s future is again being called into question, with the Red Devils believed to be willing to let him leave the club during the January transfer window.
Ronaldo has struggled to work his way into the starting side at Old Trafford this term, and he was an unused substitute during the Manchester derby against Manchester City on Sunday.
Addressing his future ahead of Thursday’s Europa League contest with Omonia, Man United boss Erik ten Hag insisted that the Portugal international was “happy” and “training well” amid the ongoing speculation.
“I can’t see that relation (the transfer speculation following the Manchester derby), that he’s not coming on when we are 4-0 down, 5-1 down, 6-1 down and I don’t bring him on out of respect. It’s nothing to do with what’s happening for the future, what’s happening for January or next year,” Ten Hag told reporters.
“I don’t see he is unhappy. He’s happy, he is training well. He’s enjoying it and I think everyone is training well. It is a good spirit and vibe in the training so that’s not the point but it’s important because it is a base to work well.
“You know, everyone knows what do you expect from strikers. First, production, and second, in football it’s 11. Nowadays in football it’s 11 defend, 11 attack. So everyone has to contribute.
“No-one is the same in a team and also the treatment I give everyone is [nothing] but respect. But they all have different backgrounds. And also [their] character, they are different, so also I have to treat players different to get the best out of them. But there are certain general standards and values that count for everyone.
“I never talk about what I talk [to the players about]. My conversations with players are between us. That’s quite clear. When you are here and when you are happy, and when you are satisfied being on the bench, this is not the club where you have to be.
“So, especially Cristiano is a really competitive, as we all know, he is not happy, of course, when he is not playing. But, I already said, and I have to repeat, maybe you didn’t hear, he is training well, he has a good mood, he is motivated and he gives his best, and that is what we expect.”
Ronaldo’s existing deal at Old Trafford is due to expire in June 2023; there is the option for a clause to be activated to take him until the end of the 2023-24 campaign, but he is being tipped to leave next year.
According to Fotomac, Galatasaray will go ‘all out’ to sign the forward in January, with the club’s vice-president Erden Timur in ‘constant contact’ with the player’s representatives.
The Turkish giants will not be able to offer Ronaldo any European football this term, though, as they finished down in 13th position in the Super Lig during the 2021-22 campaign.
Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are believed to be among the clubs to have turned down the chance to sign the former Sporting Lisbon youngster over the summer.
Ronaldo scored 24 goals for the 20-time English champions during the 2021-22 season after securing a return to the club from Juventus.