LONDON (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo faces an uncertain future after the Manchester United striker’s attempt to force his way out of Old Trafford failed to spark the expected rush for his signature.

The Portugal superstar shocked United earlier this month with his bombshell exit request after the team’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Ronaldo would have anticipated a host of top clubs jostling to sign him.

But for the first time in his glittering career he is no longer a must-have item for Europe’s wealthy elite as Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain all appear to have turned their backs on the forward.

Concerns over Ronaldo’s declining work-rate and his notoriously demanding personality have left the 37-year-old in limbo.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly was reported to have spoken to Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes about a deal to mark the new era at Stamford Bridge.

But Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is believed to have concerns about trying to integrate Ronaldo into his plans for a fluid front three after signing Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

“We focused on our top target Raheem Sterling who we signed and everything else stays behind closed doors,” Tuchel said when asked about Ronaldo.

Selling Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona could have created space for Ronaldo at Bayern, but the German champions’ CEO Oliver Kahn poured cold water on that idea.

“As highly as I rate Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the greatest, a transfer wouldn’t be a fit with our philosophy,” he said.

“I love Cristiano Ronaldo and everyone knows how fantastic he is. But every club has a certain philosophy and I’m not sure if it would be the right thing for Bayern and the Bundesliga if we signed him now.”

United manager Erik ten Hag has repeatedly stated the club’s public position that Ronaldo is “not for sale”.

Yet, although Ronaldo finished as United’s top scorer last season, there is a growing sense in Manchester that his departure could benefit Ten Hag’s chances of building a side more suited to the style he created at Ajax.

United have flourished without Ronaldo on a pre-season tour of Asia and Australia, scoring 11 goals in victories over Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace.

Last modified: July 23, 2022