Manchester United had a plan to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to stay but appear to have failed as the Portuguese star continues to be keen on leaving Old Trafford this summer.
The club had launched "Operation Ferguson" to forestall the departure of the 37-year-old player.
However, with the player's return to Manchester, not much has changed.
According to reports in England, Sir Alex Ferguson was United's trump card in the talks but failed to have the desired effect.
The Portuguese superstar doesn't want to see the second and final year of the contract.
Cristiano was at United's Carrington training complex on Tuesday with his agent Jorge Mendes to discuss his future with the club.
The open secret is that the ex-Real Madrid striker wants to leave as he desperately wants to play the Champions League and the English club can't offer him.
New manager Erik Ten Hag is aware of Ronaldo's intentions but remains optimistic he can rely on the veteran player this season.
It now seems almost impossible that anyone could change the Portugal international's mind.
The fact that Ronaldo attended the Carrington meeting with super agent Jorge Mendes in attendance was seen as a statement of intent.
On the other side of the table was Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold and legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson himself.
The Ferguson operation was a failure, however, as Ronaldo's former mentor couldn't help the club win him over.
The time spent with his family after he was sacked from the United States club tour was spent thinking about his future and his decision is firm.
The problem for all concerned, however, is that there is no easy way out for Ronaldo. The need to play the Champions League limits his chances.
Chelsea, Bayern and Atletico Madrid are rumored to be potential destinations as few others could match his wages.
Atletico Madrid monitoring Cristiano's situation
As previously reported by MARCA, nobody can say Ronaldo will sign for Los Colchoneros but nobody can say he definitely won't. Diego Simeone wants him and, should other circumstances arise, it cannot be ruled out.
Atleti is prepared to sell Antoine Griezmann to fund the transfer of Cristiano.
A loan deal could be the solution
One possible exit plan that is starting to be talked about is the possibility that United could offer to extend Ronaldo's contract for a year until 2024 and then loan him this season.
This will give both parties a chance to review their relationships next summer.
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