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Manchester United told they must make difficult Cristiano Ronaldo decision

Published on: 23 September 2022

A large chunk of Manchester United fans believes that the club should not trigger the one-year extension clause in Cristiano Ronaldo's contract, allowing him to leave in the summer of 2023.

United currently have nine members of their first team squad whose deals are set to expire at the end of the season. However, for the vast majority, the club already has a safety net in place having inserted the option to extend their contracts for another year.

Ronaldo, as well as key players like Marcus Rashford, David de Gea and Diogo Dalot, all could theoretically leave Old Trafford on a free next year but, in practice, United tend to trigger the clause they hold in order to protect their assets. Even Tahith Chong saw his contract extended this summer before eventually leaving for Birmingham City permanently.

Though the club may look to extend the contract of most players, Erik ten Hag might have a different line of thinking and want to see some of those coming towards the end of their deals leave. MEN Sport asked readers to vote on whether each of the nine players should have their clauses triggered or deal renewed or whether they should be released.

The player with the least amount of fans believing he should stay, with just a 12.8 per cent approval, was Phil Jones. The centre-back has featured only a handful of times over the last two years due to repeated injury torment and a move away to reignite his career may be the right step to take.

Fellow centre-back Axel Tuanzebe was next with just 24 per cent. Despite being a highly rated academy graduate, Tuanzebe hasn't been able to break into the starting XI and has struggled on recent loan spells at Aston Villa and Napoli. He is the one player who doesn't have an extension clause in his deal.

Third-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton got a 30 per cent rating and then next came Ronaldo, with only 32.3 per cent of voters thinking he should stay. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner made his desire to leave Old Trafford public in the summer but was unsuccessful in engineering a departure. Now he's a backup option in Ten Hag's plans.

Luke Shaw and Fred both cut it fine, with 58 and 59.8 per cent approval ratings, respectively, with the pair having also found themselves on the bench in recent weeks under the new manager. De Gea has steadily gotten better after his disastrous start to the campaign and 64.1 per cent of voters believe he should stay.

Finally, the vast majority of voters want Rashford and Dalot to remain. Rashford is enjoying his best run of form in years as the central striker, with three goals and two assists to his name already, and got a rating of 91.3 per cent. Dalot, who has made the right-back spot his own, marginally beat him with 92.5 per cent.


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