Cristiano Ronaldo has slammed the ‘lies’ about his future as he spoke out for the first time since telling Manchester United he wishes to leave the club this summer.
In a cryptic post in response to a fan account on Instagram, Ronaldo hit out at the media amid intense speculation over his next destination.
‘Impossible not to talk about me one day,’ Ronaldo wrote. ‘Otherwise the press makes no money. You know that if you don’t lie you can’t get people’s attention. Keep going that one day you get some news right.’
The Portuguese star ended the post with a crying face emoji and a laughing emoji.
Sportsmail understands Ronaldo was referencing a claim in the post from the fan account that Sir Alex Ferguson had intervened in a desperate attempt to persuade the player to remain at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken publicly about his future for the first time in a cryptic Instagram post
Ronaldo and Ferguson enjoy a close relationship – the 37-year-old has referred to the legendary manager as a father – and the pair spoke to exchange pleasantries when they were both at Carrington.
Ferguson had been at the training ground for a previously scheduled board meeting but the presence of the 80-year-old Scot sparked suggestions he was involved with the Ronaldo situation.
Ronaldo and Mendes held showdown talks with United at the club’s training ground this week
Ronaldo breaking his silence follows reports that agent Jorge Mendes is working on a sensational return to Sporting Lisbon for the player.
Ronaldo dropped the bombshell earlier this summer and his future has been a dominant theme in the early part of Erik ten Hag’s tenure at Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old wants to join a team who are playing in the Champions League, a competition United failed to qualify for after finishing a disappointing sixth in the Premier League last season.
But the list of potential suitors has slowly dwindled over the course of the window, with Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid turning down the chance to sign Ronaldo.
Bayern have admitted they discussed bringing the player to the Bundesliga, while Atletico had been linked with a move despite the club’s president Enrique Cerezo calling a deal ‘practically impossible’. Atletico’s ultras also protested against any bid for the United forward.
His agent Jorge Mendes has held talks with Sporting Lisbon over a sensational return to the club
According to The Athletic, talks have been held with Sporting Lisbon, the club Ronaldo left to join United in 2003.
Sporting would tick a number of boxes as they are in the Champions League having finished second in the Primieira Liga.
The Athletic reports, however, that Sporting head coach Ruben Amorim has reservations about signing Ronaldo. It is also unclear whether the Portuguese side could afford his £360,000-a-week salary.
Ronaldo wants to leave Old Trafford for the second time but his options appear limited
Mendes has also reportedly informed the club that Ronaldo, who is under contract at United until June 2023, has a ‘live offer’ and that a transfer fee must be named for his star.
Ronaldo and Mendes held showdown talks with United’s hierarchy this week, where he reiterated his desire to leave Old Trafford for a second time.
The club had hoped to win over Ronaldo but the talks failed to change his mind – although he will carry on in a professional manner.
The player is unlikely to feature in United’s friendly with Atletico Madrid in Oslo tomorrow as he continues to work on his fitness after missing most of pre-season following the club allowing him additional time off to deal with a family issue.
United are scheduled to fly out to the Norwegian capital later today ahead of the match against the LaLiga side but Ronaldo is likely to remain at home.
But the 37-year-old Portuguese could play a part in United’s friendly with Rayo Vallecano, their final match of pre-season, at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Should he feature against the Spanish outfit, where United are expected to field a second-string team, it would be the first time he has played under Ten Hag after missing the pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia.
United have steadfastly insisted that they have no intention of selling Ronaldo, who only returned to Carrington on Tuesday, and have not received any enquires for their star man.
Clubs including Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich have distanced themselves away from moves for Ronaldo
Ronaldo underwent medical tests and then trained on Wednesday before watching his team-mates in a behind-closed-doors friendly match against Wrexham.
He has been working hard in the gym having been excused from the tour and, as a result, Ronaldo has not been immersed in Ten Hag’s methods ahead of the new season and will have to be reintegrated gradually.
The Dutchman spoke with Ronaldo for the first time this week. Ten Hag has stressed the importance of the Portuguese to his team despite his wish to head out of the exit door at Old Trafford.