Bruno Fernandes has admitted he does not know what the future will hold for Manchester United and Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 37-year-old has not joined the rest of the squad on their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia for personal reasons amid speculation that he could leave Old Trafford for a second time this summer, just 12 months after his return.
Asked about Ronaldo’s situation, Fernandes told reporters: “Obviously we have to respect the decision of everyone.
“I don’t know what Cristiano said to the club, to the manager, I don’t know what he’s got going into his head, but we have to respect his space.
“From everything we know, he had some family problems, so we have to respect his space, give him some space and that’s it.”
Ronaldo returned to United last summer in a 15million Euros (£12.86m) move from Juventus, 12 years after ending his first spell with the club – and having been heavily linked with arch-rivals Manchester City – by signing a two-year deal with the option of a third.
However, it has emerged he has asked to be allowed to leave if an acceptable offer arrives, although new boss Erik Ten Hag has insisted the former Real Madrid superstar remains part of his plans.
Fernandes added: “Cristiano was our top scorer last season. He added goals to us, but obviously it’s not on me, it’s the club that has to make the choices and Cristiano makes his own choice.
“As I said, I don’t know what’s going on in his head. If he wants to leave, it’s all news.
“I didn’t ask them that. The only thing I asked Cristiano when he didn’t turn up was if everything was OK with the family. He told me what was going on, that’s it and nothing more.”
The United squad is currently in Perth ahead of a friendly clash with Premier League rivals Aston Villa on July 23.