Cristiano Ronaldo’s unveiling in new Man Utd kit sheds further light on uncertainty

Cristiano Ronaldo has been included within Manchester United‘s new kit launch, but the wantaway Red Devils icon hardly looked enthused by his involvement. A shot of the Portuguese superstar donning the club’s new cladding featured among a selection of images United included to promote their new home jersey ahead of the 2022-23 season, but it remains to be seen whether the 37-year-old will ever sport the shirt again.

United unveiled the new Old Trafford attire on Friday morning and all eyes were on whether Ronaldo would feature within the announcement. While he did, there were further indications that all is not well between player and club at present.

Ronaldo, who is understood to be seeking a United exit this summer less than a year after competing a sensational homecoming, was one of 20 players from across the club’s men and women’s teams to model the new kit – a nod to the glory days of yesteryear. Each player featured could be seen posing in front of a shot of Old Trafford alongside a chirpy caption – other than Ronaldo that is.

Marcus Rashford proudly showed off United’s new threads, accompanied by the words “Marcus Rashford looks right at home”, while Jadon Sancho sported a beaming smile and an arms-outstretched pose alongside the caption “We can’t wait to see Jadon Sancho in our new home shirt”. “Scott McTominay looking sharp,” read another, but Ronaldo was afforded no such luxury.

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The disgruntled striker struck a more serious and solemn expression as he was seemingly photoshopped into the shirt, while the caption for his picture uninspiringly read: “Cristiano Ronaldo models the long-sleeve jersey.” The tone appeared indicative of the tension surrounding the veteran striker at present.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has requested to depart United this summer in order to satisfy his insatiable appetite to challenge for major club honours, namely the Champions League crown. While United appear determined to stand by their not-for-sale stance, Ronaldo has moved to distance himself from the club, failing to report for pre-season training, while citing ‘family reasons’ for his absence. The famed forward will not travel with the squad to Thailand next week, either.

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Furthermore, Ronaldo’s rumblings of discontent are thought to have also seen United postpone the planned release of footage featuring the forward alongside David Beckham and Eric Cantona, intended to accompany the kit launch. According to The Athletic, the Red Devils have put content on hold as they seek to first address Ronaldo’s uncertainty future.

The new retro-themed kit, which features an old-school collar, is a nod to Cantona in particular, who was renowned for turning up the neckband during his playing days. Fans will now be made to wait for footage featuring the trio of the club’s iconic No.7’s given Ronaldo’s future remains up-in-the-air and the player doesn’t intend to hang around for the upcoming campaign.

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