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‘Ronaldo is not a quitter’ – Frustrated Man Utd star backed to stay as Silvestre says MLS transfer can wait

10:30 PM IST 21/01/22
Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd 2021-22
A former Old Trafford team-mate of the Portuguese forward believes a two-year contract will be honoured by a man determined to win more trophies

Cristiano Ronaldo has become “frustrated” at Manchester United, admits Mikael Silvestre, but a former team-mate of the Portuguese forward says he is “not a quitter” and will be determined to deliver silverware at Old Trafford before considering another new challenge.

Questions are being asked of how long the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be sticking around with the Red Devils on the back of his stunning return to a spiritual home in the summer of 2021.

Ronaldo lost his cool after being substituted in United’s last Premier League outing against Brentford, as he questioned Ralf Rangnick’s decision to replace him, and there is plenty of speculation to be found regarding the future intentions of an all-time great who is tied to a two-year contract.

Is Ronaldo happy at Manchester United?

A man that demands nothing but the best from himself and those around him has looked far from happy at regular intervals in the 2021-22 campaign, with United struggling to find the kind of consistency that secures major honours.

Asked if a man he knows well is enjoying his football at present, ex-Red Devils defender Silvestre – speaking in association with Slingo Casino – told GOAL: “He is frustrated. Not with his performance – maybe a little bit because he always wants to score more and provide more assists – but he is like every player, staff member and fan that cares for United in showing frustration. That is normal. He is very demanding of himself and his team-mates, so he is frustrated.”

Pressed on whether that is the kind of reaction you want, with fire in Ronaldo’s belly no bad thing, Silvestre added: You want that, it’s positive. People need to understand that. All he wants is the best. He made it clear that he came back to win trophies, so right now it is not looking good in the Premier League. In Europe there is a chance. There needs to be an improvement otherwise he is going to be more upset.”

Could Ronaldo leave this summer?

There have been suggestions that Ronaldo is mulling over his options after growing disillusioned with a second spell in English football, but Silvestre insists the striker is not one to walk away from a fight.

The Frenchman said: “He is not a quitter. He considers this season to be coming back home, and that means a lot to him. He left Madeira early to go to Sporting and achieved a lot with United when he first came and now a season without trophies for him, I don’t see him quitting that easily.”

On whether big decisions regarding the appointment of a successor to interim boss Ralf Rangnick and the identity of summer transfer targets could impact Ronaldo’s thinking, Silvestre said: “The squad already has quality. Of course players will go in the summer, the obvious ones being those out of contract. Some of them want to leave already. There will be fresh blood, there could be a new manager, and it will impact his decision. But at the end of the day, he signed for two years. I don’t expect him to get out of it in the summer.”

Will MLS form part of Ronaldo’s future?

As rumours rage around Ronaldo, potential landing spots for the Portuguese great are being speculated on.

A move to America has been mooted for some time, but Silvestre cannot see such a switch being made in the immediate future.

He said of Ronaldo’s ambition: If he keeps that form, he could play in any league. I think if you mention MLS right now for him, he’s not interested because he wants to compete at the highest level – which is Europe. It’s too early for him.

“Later? Why not? But he has no limit in his head. He looks after himself and his game is changing. He’s not chasing full-backs down the line to press, he’s 36. We are going to see him around for a long time yet.”

Pressed further on whether Ronaldo would jump at the chance to pair up with fellow United legend David Beckham at Inter Miami should that opportunity present itself at some stage, Silvestre said: “That would be nice to see him go there with Becks, but right now it is all about Europe and the World Cup with Portugal. He has got a big task there. For now, his head will be far away from Becks and MLS. Miami will just be a vacation for him at the moment!”

United, who sit seventh in the Premier League table at present but are only two points adrift of the Champions League spots, will be back in action on Saturday when they play host to fellow top-four hopefuls West Ham.

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