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Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Manchester United in Rayo Vallecano friendly

Ronaldo’s return! Wantaway star is back in the Manchester United colors as he saw himself coming in the picture for Rayo Vallecano friendly, despite his demands to leave Old Trafford and go in search of Champions League football

  • Cristiano Ronaldo returns to action for Man United in their last game of the preseason
  • Reds receive Spanish club Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon
  • Erik ten Hag wanted to measure Ronaldo’s condition for the new season
  • Portuguese star, 37, insists he wants to leave United in the coming weeks
  • But United have dug in their heels and insisted that Ronaldo is not for sale

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in the Manchester United colors despite lingering uncertainty over his future at Old Trafford.

The wanton Portuguese star, 37, was pictured as he arrived for Erik ten Hag for Sunday afternoon’s friendly against Spanish club Rayo Vallecano.

It follows a week of both sides digging in – Ronaldo reiterated his desire to leave United in search of Champions League football and the club once again insisted that he would not be sold.

Cristiano Ronaldo arrives with his teammates at Old Trafford

He is in Manchester United's match squad for their friendly against Rayo Vallecano

Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived at Old Trafford for today’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano

After missing United’s 17-day tour of Thailand and Australia for family reasons, Ronaldo returned to the club’s Carrington training ground, accompanied by his agent Jorge Mendes.

Ronaldo met with Ten Hag for a debrief from the pre-season trip and with the club’s hierarchy about his future, in which neither side’s position moved.

The player’s problem is that one by one all potential candidates have ruled out taking on the burden of his £360,000 a week, even if Ronaldo has suggested he will accept a pay cut.

Wantaway Ronaldo returns for Manchester United against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday

Wantaway Ronaldo returns for Manchester United against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday

Ronaldo continues to push for United's departure, but the club refuses to sell him

Ronaldo continues to push for United’s departure, but the club refuses to sell him

Ten Hag will mention a strongly twisted side of the one who played against Atletico Madrid

Ten Hag will mention a strongly twisted side of the one who played against Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid were the last to turn him down after a fan reaction to a player who remains a legend in the city at the Bernabeu.

On Wednesday, Ronaldo trained away from the main group as he looked to build up his sharpness and watched the closed-door friendly against Wrexham.

As the week progressed, it was suggested that Ronaldo would play a part in Sunday afternoon’s game, as he was not included in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in Oslo.

And Ronaldo himself confirmed this when he responded to an Instagram post from a fan account, saying: “On Sundays, the king plays.”

Ronaldo signing announced his United return on Instagram, saying: 'Sunday, the king plays'

Ronaldo signing announced his United return on Instagram, saying: ‘Sunday, the king plays’

Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed on social media that he is back training at Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed on social media that he is back training at Manchester United

The player also posted a photo of himself on the training pitch posing alongside fringe players Amad Diallo, Charlie Savage and Hannibal Mejbri – captioning the photo ‘Working in progress…’.

Ten Hag himself confirmed Ronaldo’s involvement after the game against Atletico, saying: “We’ll see how long he can play.”

That duly happened when Ten Hag named a team that was heavily rotated compared to the team that was beaten on Saturday.

It remains to be seen what role Ronaldo will play in United’s Premier League season opener next Sunday at home to Brighton.

What is certain is that speculation about his future will dominate the early weeks of United’s campaign, as Ten Hag works to restart a team that only qualified for the Europa League last season.

Anthony Martial, who impressed in pre-season after his United career was written off at the start of the year, suffered a hamstring injury against Atletico, which could leave him doubtful for the opener.



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