Sporting Lisbon chief responds amid Cristiano Ronaldo romantic return links | CRISTIANO RONALDO had been loosely linked with a return to boyhood club Sporting Lisbon.

Sporting Lisbon chief responds amid Cristiano Ronaldo romantic return links

Sporting Lisbon chief responds amid Cristiano Ronaldo romantic return links

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Sporting Lisbon sporting director Hugo Viana has ruled out a fairytale return for Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo just days after reports emerged that the iconic forward could leave Old Trafford this summer. Ronaldo has grown frustrated by the slow approach to United’s transfer dealings when such a large rebuild is necessary, according to claims in the Portuguese media. 

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Some contradicting reports insist that Ronaldo remains happy at the Premier League club and will see out the final year of his contract. But that did not stop plenty of speculation over his future, with moves to Chelsea and former club Sporting touted as possibilities for the 37-year-old. 

Ronaldo initially joined United from Sporting in 2003 having impressed the Red Devils during a pre-season friendly between the two clubs. However, Viana does not believe an emotional return to the Portuguese club would be possible. 

Viana, who played alongside Ronaldo at Sporting and for the Portugal national team, told Sky Sports: "I think not now - I don't think it is possible, but you never know. He can decide where he goes, but you never know the future. I don't want to talk about that, but he has another year on his contract so whatever he decides, let's see."

JUST IN: Man Utd could miss on key target as deal for Erik ten Hag paused

Hugo Viana has ruled out a Sporting Lisbon return for Cristiano Ronaldo (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

Ronaldo’s reported frustration is born out of the lack of arrivals at Old Trafford this summer. New boss Erik ten Hag is overseeing a major overhaul of a squad that has seriously underperformed for several years. 

Former interim head coach Ralf Rangnick predicted that United could need to sign at least 10 new players during the off-season. But none have arrived, despite reports from the Spanish media claiming that a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona is ‘very close’.

The 39-year-old Viana has urged the 20-times English champions to ensure that Ronaldo is part of the rebuild. He added: "It is time for Man Utd to stabilise, to create a good spirit inside the club. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly frustrated by Man Utd's transfer activity (Image: GETTY IMAGES) READ MORE Man Utd could miss on key target as deal for Erik ten Hag paused

“I think it is not what's happening now, but there is always time to rebuild. With Cristiano, of course, there is a player who scores 25 goals per season."

Mundo Deportivo reported on Saturday that a £68m agreement for United to buy Dutch midfielder De Jong is ‘very close’. Barca are set to allow the player to leave Camp Nou by the end of June. 

United had gone all-out for De Jong as Ten Hag’s flagship signing. They are now expected to move on to other targets. 

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