The agent of Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken with Napoli before the transfer deadline on Thursday.
While Napoli has been by far the most interested team, Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, was unable to convince Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid to make a move for the player.
Despite being in a rush, Napoli is willing to accept a loan agreement even if they are reportedly pursuing a permanent deal for the 37-year-old Ronaldo. The transfer period concludes on September 1 at 11 p.m.
United officials anticipated Mendes would try to open a door for Ronaldo late in the window.
Erik ten Hag, the manager of United, has been willing to let Ronaldo leave for weeks, but Joel Glazer, the club's co-chairman, has opposed any potential deal.
Ronaldo has only started one of United’s first four Premier League games – the 4-0 thrashing by Brentford – and was dropped for their two victories against Liverpool and Southampton.
Napoli have won two and drawn one of their first three Serie A games and would offer Ronaldo Champions League football.
As revealed by the Manchester Evening News last month, United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League is the prime reason driving Ronaldo’s desire to leave,
Ronaldo and United players were hit with a 25% salary reduction due to finishing outside the Premier League top four and Ronaldo was also unimpressed by the club’s glacial activity in the transfer market.
The timing of a story at the start of July that reported Ronaldo’s wish to move on came two days before the Portuguese was due to return for pre-season training at United’s Carrington training complex.
Ronaldo was granted additional leave and missed the entirety of United’s pre-season tour due to a family issue that is believed to have been genuine and now resolved.
When Ronaldo returned to Carrington, he was flanked by Mendes for discussions about his future. Although he started in the final friendly at home to Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford, he left before full-time along with other teammates, who were all admonished by Ten Hag.
Ronaldo was the only player who was involved in the 1-1 draw who departed before the final whistle.
United re-signed Ronaldo a year ago from Juventus for £12.86m rising to £19.72m. Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 38 games, was named the Premier League Player of the Month twice, named in the league’s team of the season and voted the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for the fourth time.
Ronaldo spent three years in Italy with Juventus and if he joins Napoli he would soon face English opposition as they start their Champions League group stage campaign against Liverpool on September 7.