Manchester United preparing to start season against Brighton without Cristiano Ronaldo - Reports 

Manchester United could be without Cristiano Ronaldo for the opening game of the 2022-23 season.
Manchester United could be without Cristiano Ronaldo for the opening game of the 2022-23 season.
Varun Totadri

Manchester United could begin their 2022-23 Premier League campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion on August 7 without their talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils are unsure about the Portugal international's availability, as he's yet to join the squad for pre-season training and friendlies. Ronaldo did not join United for their 17-day tour of Thailand and Australia due to personal reasons.

They have two more friendlies - Atletico Madrid (July 30) and Rayo Vallecano (July 31) - before their league opener against Brighton next month. Ronaldo's availability for all three games remains unlikely.

Cristiano Ronaldo is working hard to get in shape for the new season - but it is still unclear whether he will still be at Manchester United | @ChrisWheelerDM

The 37-year-old enjoyed an impressive campaign on his return to United last summer, top-scoring with 24 goals across competitions. However, United endured another trophyless campaign and failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, finishing sixth.

As per ESPN, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner handed in a transfer request, as he wants to play in the European competition. He hasn't missed the Champions League since his competition debut two decades ago.

Ronaldo's absence from United's pre-season tour has raised questions over his future at Old Trafford. Despite the forward posting a picture from a gym in Lisbon on Saturday, indicating he's in great physical shape, he's not expected to walk into Erik ten Hag's XI.

Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford enjoyed an impressive pre-season, forming a formidable partnership in attack. They are likely to start in a front three against Brighton on August 7, if Ronaldo remains unavailable.

Manchester United yet to sign Cristiano Ronaldo replacement

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

According to the Daily Mail, Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes is attempting to engineer his client's move away from Manchester United.

Atletico Madrid is seen as a potential destination, where the 37-year-old could be a like-for-like replacement for Luis Suarez, who left on a free transfer. Ronaldo is reportedly willing to take a massive pay cut on his current £500,000 weekly salary to secure a move out of Old Trafford.

Atletico Madrid take first step to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester…

The Red Devils will be left desperately short of attacking options if the Portuguese leaves and will need to sign an adequate replacement.

According to Manchester Evening News, United are interested in signing Napoli forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian enjoyed an impressive 2021-22 campaign, scoring 18 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.

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Edited by Bhargav


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