Sporting CP president Federico Varandas has distanced the club from an approach for former player Cristiano Ronaldo, whose Manchester United career appears to be in tatters following an explosive interview in which he heavily criticised the club.
Ronaldo, who had already asked to leave Old Trafford during the summer, said he felt ‘betrayed’ by United, alleged that club officials tried to force him out, spoke of his lack of respect for coach Erik ten Hag and also called out the Glazer family’s ownership.
Sporting were initially exploring ways to re-sign Ronaldo at the end of the summer transfer window but nothing formal ever materialised before the deadline came.
Sporting director Hugo Viana had refused in July to rule out a reunion in the future: “He can decide where he can go. But you never know the future…so whatever he decides, let’s see.”
But head Ruben Amorim said only recently that the cost of bringing Ronaldo back to the Jose Alvalade Stadium was prohibitive: “Everybody in Sporting dreams of the return for Cristiano but we don’t have the money to pay his wages.”
Now, Varandas has denied suggestions that Amorim vetoed any approach, insisting it was never realistically an option for the club and that it was never formally discussed.
“He will always be the reference of Sporting’s academy and the best Portuguese player ever,” the president told RTP3 in Portugal.
“Now, I’m not going to make noise. If Ruben Amorim vetoed the return? Of course not. It was never even a topic or was on the table. There was never a conversation with me, with Hugo Viana or Amorim. This topic never existed. I know it sells a lot in the press.”
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