‘The king plays’ – Ronaldo promises Man United return as star in squad for friendly

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Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to make his Manchester United return on Sunday.

The Red Devils were in Norway for a pre-season game against Atletico on Saturday – a 1-0 defeat – but the 37-year-old stayed behind in England and will feature in a second string game at Old Trafford.

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Ronaldo has been training with his teammates

United are playing Rayo Vallecano and it will mean Ronaldo gets some much needed minutes.

The Portuguese superstar vowed on Instagram that he will make a return, and United then confirmed he will be in the squad and could make his first appearance of pre-season.

Responding to an Instagram post commenting on his omission from the United squad in Norway, he responded: “Domingo o rei joga,” or “Sunday, the king plays.”

After United’s defeat to Atletico, manager Erik ten Hag said about Ronaldo: “Tomorrow he will be in the squad. We’ll see how long he can play.”

If he does feature it will be Ronaldo’s first match for United since the 4-0 defeat at Brighton on May 7.

It is understood Ronaldo remains determined to leave United this summer, but plans to stay professional while negotiations take place.

Ronaldo still insists he wants to leave Manchester United

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Ronaldo still insists he wants to leave Manchester United


He was seen driving into training on Friday after showdown talks with club officials on Tuesday.

The forward is thought to be working on his fitness while his teammates travel to Norway, having missed the pre-season tour of Asia and Australia due to a family issue.

Ronaldo’s appearance comes after breaking his silence on reports surrounding his transfer request.

Responding to a fan account on Instagram, the forward said: “Impossible not to talk about me one day. Otherwise the press makes no money. You know that if you don’t lie you can’t get people’s attention. Keep going that one day you get some news right.”

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He also hit back at Atletico Madrid fans, who protested against rumours the club could sign their historic rival, by posting a string of laughing emojis underneath pictures of supporters’ banners.

Ronaldo laughed off the Atletico protests

Instagram

Ronaldo laughed off the Atletico protests

Reports suggest Ronaldo has informed United of an offer after it emerged his agent Jorge Mendes has been speaking with boyhood club Sporting Lisbon.

Ronaldo wants to play in the Champions League next season to consolidate his personal records – and Sporting have qualified for the competition.

However, it is not clear whether the club would be able to afford Ronaldo’s £360,000-a-week wage demands.

Last season he scored 18 Premier League goals in his first season back in England.

It had looked like he was going to Man City until a last minute move from United saw him return to the club he left in 2009.

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