Cristiano Ronaldo threatens to quit Manchester United if they fail to qualify for UEFA Champions League – Paper Round
Cristiano Ronaldo could demand to leave Old Trafford this summer if Manchester United fail to qualify for next season's edition of the Champions League. Elsewhere, Real Madrid plan to extend the contracts of numerous first-team stars, Arsenal enter transfer talks with Arthur's agent over a loan from Juventus and Newcastle United have had an approach for Jesse Lingard rejected.
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Brentford and Manchester United at Brentford Community Stadium on January 19, 2022 in Brentford, England.
Cristiano Ronaldo may be set to leave Manchester United this summer, less than a year after his dramatic return to Old Trafford. The Sun state that the Portugal star’s representatives have already voiced their concerns regarding the club’s decline in form to United’s incoming chief executive, Richard Arnold. Ronaldo has been left “frustrated” and “concerned” with the current situation at Old Trafford and will be keen to move on at the end of the campaign if they fail to qualify for next season’s edition of the Champions League.
Paper Round’s view: Ronaldo is clearly desperate to carry on winning silverware in his veteran years and is unsure whether United are in the best position for this. He is going to be 37 years old next month, but his elite mentality and goalscoring ability still makes him a vital proposition for top clubs. It seems unlikely that he will move to another Premier League side and his only other realistic opportunity of moving to an elite-level club seems to be Paris Saint-Germain. Will we see Ronaldo join forces with Lionel Messi in the French capital?
Real Madrid are beginning to look ahead to the summer where the club will begin to address the contract situations within the squad. Top earners Gareth Bale, Isco and Marcelo will be allowed to leave the club upon the expiry of their deals, while Luka Modric is set to sign a one-year extension to extend his stay in the Spanish capital. Long-term improved contracts will be tabled for attacking wingers Vinicius Jr and Marco Asensio in a bid to tie them down. Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos are likely to be handed one-year extensions before their current deals expire in the summer of 2023.
Paper Round’s view: It’s good planning from Real Madrid. Los Blancos are extending the deals of young, exciting talent, while extending a trio of experienced stars who still have plenty to offer at the top level. Vinicius is going to be a huge building block for Real Madrid’s future and he is deserving of a wage bump after his performances this season. Elsewhere, getting rid of Bale, Isco and Marcelo – who are all pretty much surplus to requirements – will free up a significant amount of wages ahead of a summer where the club will pursue the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba and Antonio Rudiger.
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Arsenal enter talks with Arthur’s agent
Arsenal are continuing to push their attempt to sign Juventus midfielder Arthur on loan in the winter transfer window. Goal report that the Gunners opened talks with the Brazil international’s agent on Wednesday. Arsenal’s technical director Edu held face-to-face talks with Federico Pastorello at the club’s training ground at London Colney in a bid to accelerate any potential deal with Juventus. The Serie A side are reluctant to allow Arthur to leave Turin without signing a replacement. Juve are eyeing up Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, but the 24-year-old may be financially out of reach.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal are desperate to add some quality depth to their squad. A central midfielder is needed, even if it's only on a short-term basis until the end of the season. The Gunners were forced to postpone the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur last week after not having enough first-team players and their only viable and senior centre-midfield option was Albert Sambi Lokonga. Granit Xhaka is serving a suspension, while Thomas Partey will be on his way back from the Africa Cup of Nations soon enough. However, Mikel Arteta could definitely do with another option and Arthur would be a brilliant addition for Arsenal.
Newcastle United have had an approach to sign Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard on loan for the rest of the season rejected by the Old Trafford side. The 29-year-old has just six months remaining on his current contract at United and will be a free agent in the summer if he fails to extend his deal with his boyhood club. Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is keen to make Lingard his third signing of the January transfer window and may submit a new and improved offer to bring the England international to St James’ Park.
Paper Round’s view: A six-month spell at Newcastle could be a decent opportunity for Lingard. He’s clearly not part of Ralf Rangnick’s plans at Manchester United, so why not use the rest of the season as a chance to put himself in the shop window for when he becomes a free agent this summer? It will be tough to leave the club he has called home since the age of seven, but it’s finally time. Lingard is too good to be sitting on the bench every week and he needs to remember that the World Cup is this year.