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Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United friendly before final whistle


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Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United friendly before final whistle
Cristiano Ronaldo left before the final whistle of Manchester United’s 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Ronaldo was substituted at half-time after his first appearance for the club in 12 weeks and was photographed entering the players’ car park before full-time.

It is understood Ronaldo and Diogo Dalot were pictured leaving the stadium around the 80th-minute mark and a fan attempted to jump the barrier and embrace Ronaldo before security intervened. Ronaldo waved at fans from his car as he prepared to drive off.

United refused to comment on whether Ronaldo’s early departure was sanctioned by manager Erik ten Hag, who was not asked about the Portuguese after the match by MUTV.

Ronaldo was the only removal during the interval as he had not played in any of United’s previous five pre-season friendlies, having missed the tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue.

Two days before Ronaldo was due to report for pre-season training on July 4 it emerged he wished to leave United due to the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League and their slow movement in the transfer market.

The strategic manner of the original story, issued to a reporter known to have links with the Gestifute agency that represents Ronaldo, has led to speculation his agent Jorge Mendes was exerting pressure on United to reinforce their squad.

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