How Man Utd could line up against Atletico Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo to miss clash against potential new club
CRISTIANO RONALDO will not be available for Manchester United in their penultimate match of pre-season against Atletico Madrid.
Ronaldo, 37, returned to training this week after an extended summer break so has missed most of pre-season.
But with his future up in the air amid speculation he could join Diego Simone’s side, Ronaldo looks set to miss out.
Ronaldo held talks with Erik ten Hag and Richard Arnold about his future this week with the striker still keen to leave.
CR7 is still not match fit which means Anthony Martial is likely to start in Oslo, Norway.
Ronaldo’s absence means Atleti fans will not get the opportunity to directly show the striker how they feel about the chances of him joining.
Some supporters have launched a campaign against the Portuguese signing given his legendary status at rivals Real Madrid.
Fans even held up a banner saying “CR7 not welcome” at a recent friendly game – Ronaldo responded on Instagram by posting four laughing emojis.
There could be another obstacle to Ronaldo joining Atletico – inadequate funds.
The Spanish giants reportedly have to offload high earners Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata before making a move for the superstar.
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Nevertheless, Ten Hag could be planning for life without the striker and therefore could play Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho alongside Martial in attack – as he has done for much of pre-season.
United fans could get their first look at new signings Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen, with the latter netting a free-kick on his debut in a behind-closed-doors 4-1 win against Wrexham.
Martinez could start alongside Harry Maguire in defence with Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw at full-back.
Alternatively, Ten Hag could look to give Raphael Varane some much-needed minutes and test out Tyrell Malacia once again following his substitute appearance in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.
The rest of the side picks itself with Ten Hag’s only real dilemma who to play in midfield, with Scott McTominay missing the Villa runout.
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