Cristiano Ronaldo‘s desire to leave Manchester United may now he coming to pass as the club are reportedly looking for replacement for the striker.
Manchester United have been adamant that the 37-year-old will be forced to see out the remainder of his contract, despite his determination to join a Champions League club.
But that stance is believed to be softening after back-to-back defeats.
The Portuguese legend could now be allowed to leave if another forward can be recruited.
Ten Hag had been convinced he could get the best out of Ronaldo – even if just for the final year of his contract.
But uncertainty over the former Real Madrid and Juventus star’s future has overshadowed the United manager’s first months in the job.
On Saturday he cut a frustrated figure in the humiliating 4-0 defeat to Brentford – angrily turning away from travelling supporters after the final whistle and appearing not to acknowledge Ten Hag as he left the pitch.
There are concerns that if Ronaldo remains at Old Trafford it will have a negative impact on the club.
The Portuguese is said to be a negative presence at the club, hardly communicates with his team-mates in the canteen and has made no secret of his desire to move away.
Sources have said they fear there will be no change to United’s current issues until Ronaldo has gone and there is a belief amongst some that even if the forward left and there was no replacement, the general uplift would trigger a significant improvement in overall performances.
Speaking on Sky Sports on Monday, former United defender Gary Neville said: “There is a massive decision to make on Ronaldo. He is obviously not happy, the problem is if they lose him there is nothing left in the goalscoring part of the pitch. I genuinely think if he leaves and they don’t bring people in they could finish bottom half of the table.”