Napoli Rejects Ronaldo


Cristiano Ronaldo’s hopes of sealing a move away from Manchester United in the New Year have been dealt a fresh blow after Napoli director, Cristiano Giuntoli insisted that the club has no interest in signing the wantaway star.

Ronaldo was desperate to quit Old Trafford in the summer following their disastrous Premier League campaign last term but was unable to source an escape route.

He has since been handed a diminished role by new boss Erik ten Hag and caused outrage last week when he refused to come on as a substitute during the 2-0 win over Tottenham and subsequently stormed off and left the stadium before the final whistle.

Ronaldo was reinstated ahead of yesterday’s Europa League showdown with Sheriff Tiraspol, but both parties are now believed to be open to the idea of Ronaldo leaving the club in the New Year.

Although concrete interest has been thin on the ground in recent months, Napoli had seemingly emerged as a potential destination for Ronaldo – but Giuntoli quashed talk of a potential January move before the Italian outfit’s impressive 3-0 win over Rangers on Wednesday night.

Speaking to DAZN, Giuntoli said: “Ronaldo in January? We won’t sign any player in January. We don’t need to change anything in this team. We’re doing great and we’re not planning any signing, as of today.

“I might be repetitive, but we really are not thinking about the transfer market right now. And even if I did have to talk about it, I would say we need nothing, because there is no problems in the squad that need to be repaired. Things are going so well that we would not make a single move.”

The news represents another blow for Ronaldo after Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Anorim admitted that a deal to bring the former Sporting player back to Portugal was unlikely.

Ronaldo’s long-term future at Old Trafford appeared to be in serious jeopardy after his strop against Tottenham last week, but Ten Hag insisted that the veteran would return to the fold after sitting out Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

And the Manchester United chief reiterated that ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Sheriff Tiraspol. Ronaldo has started all four of United’s previous European matches and is expected to feature again in the meeting with the Moldovan champions.

Ten Hag said on Wednesday: “It’s not difficult but I think we set everything and we answered all the questions. So he was out for one game and now he is back in the squad as usual.”