Cristiano Ronaldo may have just played a Frenkie de Jong masterstroke

If you didn’t know what to make of Cristiano Ronaldo’s links to Bayern Munich, Chelsea and even Sporting, then look no further.

In case you missed it, Sky Sports reported Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes met with Chelsea’s new owner to discuss options, while Bayern distanced themselves from reported interest [Mail].

Let’s throw out the doom and gloom outlook of ‘oh no Ronaldo wants to leave’.

This instead looks like a carefully constructed ploy from Ronaldo towards Manchester United, to push the club to get their house in order.

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Ronaldo may have just played a masterstroke

Portuguese newspaper Record reported Ronaldo was exasperated and frustrated at Manchester United’s slow start to the transfer window, with rivals already strengthening.

He isn’t the only one. Manchester United fans have been tearing their hair out over the club’s laid back negotiation tactics towards Erik ten Hag’s top targets.

The difference is, Ronaldo is in a position to do something about it, and his plan appears to have kicked into action.

These leaks to the media over his future, co-ordinated by Jorge Mendes, have come into being all at once and at exactly the right time.

After the Ronaldo and Chelsea reports emerged on Saturday, a day later, news emerged Manchester United made a significant step forward in a move for Frenkie de Jong.

The Telegraph report United and Barcelona are nearing agreement and the Red Devils expect to conclude a deal in the coming days, with a fee of £69 million set to be agreed.

Photo by Geert van Erven/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images

No coincidence De Jong deal is now close

Is it a coincidence United are closing in on this transfer, so quickly after Ronaldo’s exit links?

No, not at all. Ronaldo knew exactly what he was doing to put the pressure on United, and it looks to have worked a treat.

This is right out of the Mendes playbook, who helped bring United to the table in the first place by negotiating a move to City. He also pushed United’s move for Bruno Fernandes over the line after offering the player to Barcelona.

The prospect of losing Ronaldo this summer was real if United didn’t get their act together, and this was a blow the club could not afford, with investing so much money in midfield, and potentially only looking for a budget or developmental striker option.

Once the move for De Jong is concluded, more are expected to follow. When Cristiano Ronaldo returns to pre-season training at Carrington in a week or so time, he could be surrounded by a few new faces, that’s the plan.

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