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Cristiano Ronaldo's future uncertain as Man United complete Lisandro Martinez signing
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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo rests on a goalpost during their clash with Norwich City at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, April 16, 2022. /CFP

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo rests on a goalpost during their clash with Norwich City at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, April 16, 2022. /CFP

Barely 10 days before Manchester United start their 2022/23 Premier League campaign at home to Brighton, the standoff between the English giants and Cristiano Ronaldo is becoming increasingly distracting and disruptive. 

After missing all of United's pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia due to what has been described as "personal reasons," Ronaldo finally returned to the club's training ground with his agent Jorge Mendes on Tuesday and underwent medical tests on Wednesday. 

According to multiple media outlets, the 37-year-old held talks with new manager Erik ten Hag over his future and once again expressed his strong desire to leave United this summer, but this demand has fallen on deaf ears. 

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) arrives at Carrington training ground, Manchester, England, July 26, 2022. /CFP

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) arrives at Carrington training ground, Manchester, England, July 26, 2022. /CFP

Fabrizio Romano, one of the world's most reliable journalists with regard to football transfers, revealed on Wednesday night that United insisted Ronaldo is "not for sale" and there have been "no changes yet" in their stance. 

The Daily Mail added that while United have not received any concrete offers, Ronaldo has informed the Red Devil that he "wishes to be released from his current contract to free him to join a Champions League side."

Rumor has it that Atletico Madrid have shown interest in the five-time Ballon d'Or winner after both Chelsea and Bayern Munich ruled out signing him, but a group of Atletico fans made their feelings very clear during a friendly against Numancia on Wednesday in displaying a large banner that read "CR7 not welcome." 

Fans of Atletico Madrid display a sign against Cristiano Ronaldo during a preseason friendly against Numancia at Estadio Burgo de Osma in Soria, Spain, July 27, 2022. /CFP

Fans of Atletico Madrid display a sign against Cristiano Ronaldo during a preseason friendly against Numancia at Estadio Burgo de Osma in Soria, Spain, July 27, 2022. /CFP

Atletico's International Union of Fan Clubs also declared their displeasure at the possibility of seeing Ronaldo, who had spent nine trophy-laden seasons at their arch-rivals Real Madrid, switch allegiance. 

"In light of the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo, if it is more than a simple rumor without any basis, we express our absolute rejection of his hypothetical joining of our club," read a statement. 

"The aforementioned player represents the antithesis of the values that constitute the hallmarks of our Atleti, such as the effort, generosity, modesty and humility of those who want to defend our values.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during their Premier League clash with Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, April 9, 2022, /CFP

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during their Premier League clash with Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, April 9, 2022, /CFP

"Even in the highly unlikely hypothetical case that a player in steep decline such as Cristiano Ronaldo could guarantee us a trophy, we wouldn't accept his signing. The sense of being a part of our Atletico feeling isn't within his reach, unfortunately for him, and as such he could never receive our affection or recognition. 

"As such, we ask the club to reject his possible signing, if it has indeed been considered at any time." 

It's worth noting that United will face none other than Atletico in a friendly on Saturday in Oslo and it remains unclear whether Ronaldo will be available. 

Lisandro Martinez poses after signing for Manchester United at Carrington training ground in Manchester, England, July 27, 2022. /CFP

Lisandro Martinez poses after signing for Manchester United at Carrington training ground in Manchester, England, July 27, 2022. /CFP

Amidst all the chaos, United have completed the signing of Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez from Ajax on a contract until June 2027, with the option to extend for a further year. 

The 24-year-old played under Ten Hag at Ajax and won the league title with the club in 2021 and 2022. He was also the Dutch giants' player of the year last season. 

"He's a warrior and I think the fans will admire him. He has an attitude, fighting spirit," Ten Hag said. "He brings aggressiveness in the game, in a good way. I think we need that. But he's also skillful, he can deal with the ball and he's left-footed." 

Martinez said, "There will be a lot of work to get to that moment, but I firmly believe that, under this manager and coaches, and together with my new teammates, we can do it. 

"I want to thank Ajax and their fans for all the support they gave me. I had an unbelievable time there but feel the moment is right to test myself in another environment. Now I am at the perfect club to do this."

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