By Sean O’Brien
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to miss Manchester United’s upcoming friendly with Atletico Madrid, however, he looks set to return for their friendly at home the next day.
The Red Devils travel to Oslo ahead of their pre-season match against Atletico in the Norwegian capital on Saturday – but Ronaldo is expected to stay in England.
However, the 37-year-old looks set to feature under Erik ten Hag for the first time on Sunday, as a second-string side take on Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford.
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.”
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.
He was seen driving into Red Devils 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.
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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.”
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.
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.