Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed by Napoli as Man United escape options dwindle


Cristiano Ronaldo suffers another blow as Napoli rule out a January move for the wantaway Manchester United star… with the 37-year-old forward set to be stuck as a bit-part player in Erik ten Hag’s squad

  • Napoli’s sporting director has ruled out a move for Cristiano Ronaldo in January
  • Serie A leaders were one of the few remaining escape routes for the star
  • Ronaldo has been demoted to a limited role at Man United under Erik ten Hag
  • He was dropped from their squad after refusing to come on as a substitute
  • 37-year-old will be involved again when they play Sheriff on Thursday night 

Napoli have ruled out any prospect of signing Cristiano Ronaldo this January in another blow to the star’s chances of leaving Manchester United.

The Serie A leaders were one of the few remaining clubs linked with the 37-year-old Portuguese forward, having expressed an interest in the summer.

But Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli has insisted they have no need to sign anybody during the mid-season window.

Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered another blow in his efforts to secure a move from Man United

Napoli are doing well in Serie A and the Champions League - and have ruled out any signings

Napoli are doing well in Serie A and the Champions League – and have ruled out any signings 

‘Ronaldo in January? We won’t sign any player in January,’ he told DAZN ahead of Napoli’s 3-0 Champions League win over Rangers on Wednesday night.

‘We don’t need to change anything in this team. We’re doing great and we’re not planning any signings, as of today.’

The Naples team currently have a three-point lead over AC Milan at the top of Serie A and are likely to finish top of their Champions League group unless they suffer a heavy loss to Liverpool next week.

United manager Erik ten Hag dropped Ronaldo after he refused to come on as a substitute

 United manager Erik ten Hag dropped Ronaldo after he refused to come on as a substitute 

Ronaldo refused to come on and left Old Trafford before full-time in the 2-0 win over Spurs

Ronaldo refused to come on and left Old Trafford before full-time in the 2-0 win over Spurs

It comes after Ronaldo’s first club Sporting Lisbon admitted they would be unable to afford a return for him as his options dwindle for a January exit.

Ronaldo will be in United’s squad for Thursday night’s Europa League fixture with Moldovans Sheriff Tiraspol after being reintegrated into full training by Erik ten Hag.

He was dropped for last Saturday’s game against Chelsea as a punishment after refusing to come on as a substitute in the home win over Tottenham last week.

Ronaldo was made to train on his own after storming off down the Old Trafford tunnel and leaving the stadium before the end of the 2-0 win over Spurs.

Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) was back training with Manchester United's first-team on Tuesday

Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) was back training with Manchester United’s first-team on Tuesday

The Portuguese is set to be involved when United host Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday evening

The Portuguese is set to be involved when United host Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday evening 

Ten Hag summoned him for showdown talks earlier this week and Ronaldo showed enough contrition to be allowed back into the squad.

His United contract expires at the end of the season but there is an option to extend it by a further year.

Ronaldo scored 24 times for United last season and was their leading marksman by some distance but he has been left frustrated after Ten Hag demoted him to the bench.

United will book their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a win or draw on Thursday night.

However, they will need to beat Real Sociedad in Spain next week to stand any chance of finishing top and avoiding a play-off round game against a Champions League drop-out.

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