‘Furious’ Erik ten Hag wants Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United contract terminated after Old Trafford drama
Time for Ronaldo to leave Man Utd?
Cristiano Ronaldo has “almost certainly” played his final match for Manchester United, according to the Sun. The Portugal international reportedly refused to come on as a substitute before storming down the tunnel before the final whistle in United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. The 37-year-old has been left out of the squad for Saturday’s match against Chelsea and fined two weeks’ wages. The Sun reveal that Erik ten Hag is “furious” with Ronaldo and has now “lost patience” with his star striker. The former Ajax boss has two options in mind: terminate Ronaldo’s Manchester United contract or sell him in the January transfer window.
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Paper Round’s view: Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United has been a complete disaster. It’s bad enough that he joined, then the club suffered an embarrassing season where they sacked their manager and missed out on top four. But it’s genuinely hit new lows. Ronaldo lost his place in the starting XI because he’s no longer good enough and he simply does not run hard enough to fit Ten Hag’s style. It’s time he left Old Trafford (again). It’s not going to work and United won’t be able to move on from this Ronaldo saga until he leaves. The two parties should negotiate a contract termination as it’s clearly the best move for everyone involved. As for Ronaldo’s next step? Who knows? It really depends on how much money he demands and if he is willing to take a step down from the elite level.
Gundogan to Galatasaray?
Galatasaray are plotting an ambitious move for Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to the Sun. The 31-year-old has entered the final year of his contract at the Etihad Stadium and his future plans are currently unknown. Gundogan has not ruled out staying if he is offered a contract extension but has also previously revealed his desire to play in Turkey or the United States once he leaves England. Barcelona and Juventus are reported to be interested in rivalling Galatasaray in their pursuit of Gundogan if he were to become a free agent and leave the Premier League champions next summer.
Paper Round’s view: Galatasaray will be hoping that Gundogan is a man of his word. He said he wanted to play in Turkey and they are planning to offer him that opportunity. But in all seriousness, Gundogan is only 31 years old and still has plenty to offer at the highest level for Manchester City. It would be strange to see Pep Guardiola’s side let the Germany international leave for free at the end of the season because he is still a very classy footballer, who has shown no signs of slowing down. Maybe he can still play in Turkey one day. It would make sense to have the ambitions of playing in the country of his descent.
Arsenal reignite centre-back search
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is still keen to improve his defensive depth after missing out on Lisandro Martinez and Calvin Bassey last summer. The north London club are hoping to add a left-sided centre-back to their squad to provide competition for Gabriel Magalhaes. The Standard report that Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka is on Arsenal’s radar. The 23-year-old, who is also wanted by Juventus, is rapidly approaching the expiry date on his contract at the German club. Frankfurt could be tempted to sell Ndicka in January to avoid losing him for free at the end of the season.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal have had a blistering start to the 2022-23 Premier League season, but they won’t want injuries to derail their campaign. It is vital to have a back-up in every position and the Gunners are light at the left-side of centre-back and in central midfield. Ndicka represents a low-cost option in January – which is rare in the winter window. The French defender has a decent level of experience and is even playing in the Champions League this season. It would definitely be a solid signing for Arsenal and strengthen the depth in their squad.
Palace chase Chile’s finest
Crystal Palace are contemplating a move for Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton Diaz in the winter transfer window, according to the Sun. The Chile international will be a free agent next summer so could be available for a cut-price fee. Blackburn have tabled a new contract to Brereton Diaz, but the 23-year-old has already rejected their terms. He will also be allowed to open negotiations with foreign clubs over a summer move from January – and there is interest from La Liga. Blackburn received enquiries from Fulham, Leeds United and Everton last summer, but the Championship club dismissed every approach for their star striker.
Paper Round’s view: It’s a surprise that Brereton Diaz is still playing in the Championship. The 23-year-old striker lit up the English second-tier with 22 goals last season and had plenty of interest from the Premier League. Maybe Blackburn were demanding too much money. However, that move might have backfired for them because Brereton Diaz is now running down his contract at the Lancashire club. Blackburn are second in the Championship right now and you’d think they would take the risk and keep him for the season if they are in with a chance of promotion. The Chilean could have a fairytale ending at Blackburn and leave for free next summer.
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