Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to return to Manchester United on Sunday.
The Red Devils were in Norway for a pre-season game against Atletico on Saturday – a 1-0 loss – but the 37-year-old stayed in England and will feature in a second string game at Old Trafford.
United are playing against Rayo Vallecano and that will mean Ronaldo will have some much needed minutes.
The Portuguese superstar vowed on Instagram that he would make a return, and United later confirmed he would be in the squad and could make his first pre-season appearance.
Responding to an Instagram post commenting on his omission from the United squad in Norway, he replied: ‘Domingo o rei joga’ or ‘Sunday the king plays’.
After United’s loss to Atletico, manager Erik ten Hag said of Ronaldo: “Tomorrow he will be in the team. We will see how long he can play.
If he does feature, it will be Ronaldo’s first game for United since the 4-0 defeat at Brighton on May 7.
It is understood that Ronaldo remains determined to leave United this summer, but plans to remain professional during negotiations.
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He was seen heading to training on Friday after talks with club officials on Tuesday.
The striker is believed to be working on his fitness as his teammates travel to Norway, having missed the pre-season tour of Asia and Australia due to a family issue.
Ronaldo’s appearance comes after he broke his silence on the reports surrounding his transfer request.
Responding to a fan account on Instagram, the striker said: “Impossible not to talk about me one day. Otherwise the press don’t make money. You know if you don’t lie you can’t catch people’s attention.Keep going so that one day you will get correct news.
He also hit back at Atletico Madrid fans, who have been protesting rumors the club could sign their historic rival, by posting a series of laughing emojis under pictures of supporter banners.
Reports suggest Ronaldo informed United of an offer after it emerged his agent Jorge Mendes had held talks with boyhood club Sporting Lisbon.
Ronaldo wants to play in the Champions League next season to cement his personal bests – and Sporting have qualified for the competition.
However, it is unclear whether the club would be able to afford Ronaldo’s £360,000-a-week wage demands.
Last season, he scored 18 Premier League goals in his first season in England.
He looked set to go to Man City until a last-minute move from United saw him return to the club he left in 2009.