Cristiano Ronaldo has declared himself ready to feature in Manchester United's first game of the season against Brighton on Sunday.
Ronaldo's uncertain future has dominated headlines in recent months. The Portugal forward wants to leave Old Trafford but as of yet has not found an exit, missing vital weeks of pre-season training in the process.
Ahead of United's season opener against the Seagulls, Ronaldo posted a picture on Instagram of himself captioned with 'Ready'. Whether manager Erik ten Hag will take the bait, however, is another matter.
The former Real Madrid star featured in the pre-season friendly with Rayo Vallecano but was later chastised by Ten Hag for leaving Old Trafford before the game had even finished.
“I certainly don't condone this. This is unacceptable. For everyone,” he told Viaplay. “We are a team and you have to stay until the end.”
Some injury issues in the Red Devils squad could see Ronaldo start despite missing weeks of training. Anthony Martial has been ruled out and Jadon Sancho has been ill, though the latter is expected to recover in time for Albion's visit.
United captain Harry Maguire recently came out in defence of Ronaldo, praising his character.
He said: "Cristiano is a magnificent player and magnificent character to have around us. I know what it is like to have a lot of media speculation around me but he takes the majority of it.
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“Everything he does is scrutinised to the nth degree. I think this is what you get when you play for this club [due to] the size of the club. On the other hand, when things are good you get a lot of praise.
“That’s football, that’s the sport that we play, there is a line that can be crossed and there are things we can do in this country to prevent that.”