Ronaldo free to leave January

Cristiano Ronaldo is free to leave Manchester United this January, the Telegraph reports.

United manager Erik ten Hag will not stand in the forward’s way if the club receive a suitable offer for the 37-year-old, having initially wanted to keep him in the summer.

Ronaldo remained an unused substitute against Manchester City in the heavy 6-3 defeat on Sunday, with Ten Hag claiming it was “out of respect” for the player’s career.

Only Saudi club Al Hilal made a concrete proposal for Ronaldo, who is said to want Champions League football.

If Ronaldo remains adamant on joining a Champions League side, it will be fascinating to see which clubs have changed their mind from the summer. It went from courting PSG, Chelsea and Bayern Munich to potential loan moves to Napoli or Sporting as the window dragged on, with nothing materialising.

Meanwhile, a fifth straight defeat in the Premier League on Monday night leaves Nottingham Forest rooted to the bottom of the table, and with Steve Cooper under pressure, the Telegraph reports that Rafael Benitez is in the frame to replace him. The former Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton manager could be viewed as the man to reverse Forest’s fortunes, with their return to the top tier after 23 years away getting off to the worst possible start.

In another development, with Chelsea already agreeing a deal for Christopher Nkunku, the Telegraph claims the club are looking to complete a double RB Leipzig raid by bringing in defender Josko Gvardiol next summer as well.

Chelsea paid above Nkunku’s £52.58m release clause to sign the French striker at the end of the season, and they are now willing to pay Gvardiol’s release clause as well. The Croatian defender could leave for £43.6m, with Chelsea holding advanced talks for the 20-year-old in the summer. – Eurosport

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