Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim has revealed the club are ‘dreaming’ about signing from .
Ronaldo since his refusal to come on as late substitute in last week’s victory over Tottenham.
The 37-year-old, who was desperate to leave Old Trafford in the summer, was banished by Erik ten Hag for his act of defiance and was forced to sit out Saturday’s heavyweight Premier League clash against at Stamford Bridge.
He has been linked with a United exit when the transfer window reopens in January, , but a romantic return to Sporting – the Portuguese club where Ronaldo started his career – has also been mooted.
Amorim, however, has admitted Sporting ‘don’t have the money to pay his wages’ – meaning Ronaldo would have to take a significant pay cut to join his former side.
‘Ronaldo is a top player,’ Amorim said ahead of Sporting’s Champions League clash with Tottenham in north London on Wednesday.
‘He is a Manchester United player. Everybody in Sporting dreams of the return for Cristiano but we don’t have the money to pay his wages.
‘I think he is happy in Manchester but is not playing so that is the problem.
‘But I have my problems so it is Ten Hag’s problem! I am very happy with my players, no problem at all at the moment.’
Ronaldo spent five years at Sporting between 1997 and 2002 – becoming the first player to represent their U16, U17 and U18 teams as well as the B team and the first team all within a single season – as he made his full debut in 2002-03.
He then moved to Manchester United for his first stint in 2003, signed by legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
He is considered a hero at Sporting, with his memorabilia featuring heavily at the club’s official museum.
, ., and .
Follow Metro on Snapchat
You can follow our new , the go-to place for all things pop culture.
Keep up with the latest Showbiz exclusives by following .
And football fans can indulge in all the transfer gossip and more on .