Manchester United have refused to budge from their hardline position that Cristiano Ronaldo must stay at Old Trafford after an opening round of talks with the unsettled star ended in impasse.
Not even the presence of Sir Alex Ferguson could help reach a breakthrough, with the former manager present at Carrington as Ronaldo ended his self-imposed exile and returned to the training ground on Tuesday morning.
Ferguson appeared along with United chief executive officer Richard Arnold, with the club insisting they were present for a pre-arranged football board meeting. Former chief executive David Gill and former captain Bryan Robson were also seen arriving at Carrington, although United would not reveal the extent to which they were involved in talks between Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo and Jorge Mendes, the player’s agent.
The club, citing confidentiality, would not comment on the nature of the talks.
It is understood that a day of negotiations at the club’s training ground ended with the Portuguese forward still entrenched in his wish to quit the club. But, in response, United have been equally adamant that they will not move from their position that the 37-year-old will form part of Ten Hag’s first-team plans in the coming season.
United’s position therefore is unchanged and Ronaldo is not for sale, a stance that has not shifted in the slightest since the start of the month when he first informed them he wanted to leave.
That means it is for Ronaldo and Mendes to make the next move. The player and his agent of him who are believed to be equally unshakable in their desire for him to leave.
Ronaldo, who insists he wishes to play Champions League football in the new season, is sticking to that position despite an apparent lack of viable alternatives.
Carrington comings and goings
The developments followed a dramatic day at Carrington that started with Ronaldo and Mendes arriving at around 10am, an hour before the rest of the United playing squad.