Patrice Evra has pleaded with Cristiano Ronaldo not to join another Premier League side, arguing he could soon be back in Manchester United’s lineup.
Ronaldo had a time far from settled in his second season at Old Trafford, missing pre-season before being dropped by new manager Erik ten Hag.
Since starting in a 4-0 league humiliation against Brentford, Ronaldo has only been in training in Europa League games, most recently spending the entire Manchester derby on the bench.
It has sparked even more speculation over the five-time Champions League winner’s future, with multiple reports over the summer claiming his agent has held talks with Chelsea and Bayern Munich over a deal.
Ronaldo, 37, signed a two-year contract when he returns to Old Trafford in 2021 and could be available on the cheap in January or for nothing next summer.
But former teammate Evra hopes that if he does move, it will be somewhere abroad.
“I don’t want to see Ronaldo in any shirt other than a Man United shirt,” the Frenchman told Betfair.
“If he has to leave, I want him to go abroad, I don’t want him to go to another Premier League team.
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“I want him to be happy, to score and to challenge [Lionel] Messi every year. I wish him the best if he leaves but I can’t imagine him in another club’s shirt.
“I’ve read reports that United will let Ronaldo go in January. It’s still a circus. We’re going back to what we’ve been doing all these years, I don’t understand.
“We’re not inside the club, so maybe the manager and Cristiano spoke before the season and Ten Hag said he needs to be fit and he’ll get a chance.
“I know that a player like Cristiano Ronaldo will not accept this. To be in good shape, you need time and play.
“Ten Hag gave Ronaldo his chance to play in the first two games and we lost, so he changed teams and they won four games in a row. In fact, what Ten Hag is doing is the right thing.
Evra is worried about the Portugal captain’s chances ahead of the Winter World Cup and insists he can still play a major role at Old Trafford, as long as Ten Hag plays to the Portuguese superstar’s strengths.
“Ronaldo wants to play in the World Cup, so he wants to be fit,” Evra said.
“He needs games, no matter how old you are, you need to have game time to get in shape, especially when you get older. People don’t understand, to be fit you have to play games.
“He didn’t have that time and I’m sure Ronaldo would have walked into Ten Hag’s office and said he didn’t want to damage his reputation and be the bad guy at the club, moaning every time he is on the bench.
“He’s professional, he trains 100 per cent, so he probably asked Ten Hag to let him go in January. I don’t know what was said between the two of them.
“I’m sorry, when you have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t press or whatever, focus on what he can do. He scores goals. I’m sure he leaves and goes to another club, he will score goals.
“He needs his chance in the Premier League again. Ten Hag can now justify playing him again after losing the last game.
“Football moves so fast, imagine Ronaldo starts in the Europa League, scores, then he starts in the Premier League and scores. United win two games and everything changes. Then we’ll say Ronaldo is so important and we can’t let him go. leave in January.