The Portuguese superstar’s two-year contract at Old Trafford is not set to expire until June 2023, but there has been fierce debate in recent months over whether he should leave for a second time at the end of the season .
While Ronaldo has proven United’s savior on numerous occasions with 24 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions this term, many have questioned his place in what is expected to be a drastic rebuild of the struggling Red Devils under the new manager. standing Erik ten Hag.
However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner appeared to hint that he would stay put after playing a starring role again against Brentford in the Premier League on Monday night.
Ronaldo is now just four strikes behind Liverpool leader Mohamed Salah in the Golden Boot race after netting a second-half penalty in the morale-boosting 3-0 win over Brentford. He had previously seen an early effort ruled out for offside before the break.
After emphatically scoring his spot-kick, Ronaldo pointed at himself and then onto the turf at Old Trafford, seemingly indicating he might stay after all.
Then, while soaking up the adulation of fans in a post-match victory lap to mark the final home game of a difficult United campaign, he appeared to tell Sky Sports cameras : “I’m not finished.”
Caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick insisted again after the win over Brentford that any decision on Ronaldo’s future should be deferred to Ten Hag, but backed the 37-year-old to stay in the club. team despite their repeated claims that United will have to sign. at least two top strikers this summer.
“The way we played again tonight, not only because he scored, he also won the penalty and helped defensively, why shouldn’t he be in the team and help the team?” Rannick said. “But that’s a question you have to ask Erik and also Cristiano.
“Cristiano is not a central striker. He doesn’t want to play in that position but if you look at international football there aren’t many teams that play with two strikers.
“For me it’s a question of what Manchester United players will have in the future. Obviously United need two more quality strikers. Modern strikers don’t have to be strikers. Liverpool or Manchester City have five or six top strikers, if you ask me if Gabriel Jesus or Jack Grealish is a winger or a striker, they can all play there.
“Mason Greenwood would have been one, then after the game against West Ham he was no longer in the team. Anthony Martial was on loan and Edinson Cavani injured.