The 37-year-old’s future at Old Trafford remains uncertain. He held ‘crisis’ talks at Carrington on Tuesday alongside his agent Jorge Mendes before returning to training after an extended summer break.
But it is understood that Ronaldo’s position at United remains unchanged and he wants to leave. In fact, the Portugal captain has requested to be released from his £360,000-a-week deal, according to the Daily Mail.
He did, however, make his first appearance for the club since May 7 on Sunday afternoon during a pre-season clash against La Liga outfit Real Vallecano, although he didn’t hang around for long after being substituted.
Ronaldo was the only player to be brought off at half-time by Erik ten Hag during the friendly and was replaced by Amad Diallo, who scored United’s only goal in the 1-1 draw.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was then spotted leaving Old Trafford before the full-time whistle by Twitter user @CantonaManc, who took a snap of the striker departing the Theatre of Dreams.
During his time on the pitch, Ronaldo was unable to mark his return to action with a goal.
He struggled to make an impact on the game and as both teams went for a drinks break in the 33rd minute, United boss Erik ten Hag appeared to try and give the forward some tactical advice.
But judging by the below footage, Ronaldo responded by defending himself with his arms outstretched. The Express even suggest he was seen ‘rolling his eyes’ during the ‘tense’ interaction.
Ahead of kick-off, Ten Hag said the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was “not on the level” of his Manchester United teammates when it comes to being match fit.
“I cannot tell in this moment,” the Dutchman told Sky Sports.
“He is definitely not on the level of our current squad, because he missed a lot of weeks. So he needs games and he needs a lot of training.”
Many fans were critical of Ronaldo’s actions on Sunday and after the full-time whistle, Liverpool legend Steve Nicol slammed the striker for leaving Old Trafford early.
“The one thing it tells you is he’s completely disengaged with the club and the team, as simple as that,” he said.
“I’ve seen and I know players and I’ve done it myself who have left before the end of the game but I’ve not been in the team, I’ve not been in the squad and I’ve been ready to leave – I’ve been disgruntled. He’s disengaged with what’s going on at the club.
“This guy actually played and then left before the end, that has got ‘get me out of here’ written all over it.”