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Cristiano Ronaldo wins Real Madrid player award amid uncertainty

The FC crew cast doubt on Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United, despite his recent dip in form and reports of tension at Real Madrid.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes tackle the latest transfer rumours surrounding N'Golo Kante, Andy Carroll, Cristiano Ronaldo and more.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as Real Madrid's player of the month for December amid increasing uncertainty over his future at the Bernabeu.

A source close to Ronaldo has said he wants to return to Manchester United, with the Portugal captain having attracted criticism amid his side's struggles this season.

Ronaldo has scored just four times in La Liga as Zinedine Zidane's side have slumped 19 points behind runaway leaders Barcelona, and has yet to sign a new contract

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored in three different competitions during December as Madrid won the Club World Cup, netting the winner in the final against Gremio.

"Cristiano Ronaldo received the Mahou Five Star Player award at Real Madrid City," a Madrid statement said.

"The Portuguese forward was recognised for his performances in the last month of 2017, in which he participated in six matches and scored five goals, winning the Club World Cup. Fans choose the winner of this award through social networks."

Madrid were beaten by Barcelona on their return from the Club World Cup, and Ronaldo has failed to score in his in his two games so far this year against Celta Vigo and Villarreal.

Speaking on Radio Marca, former Madrid centre-forward Carlos Alonso Gonzalez, known as Santillana, said he felt Ronaldo -- who had 11 shots without scoring against Villarreal -- was taking too much responsibility on his own shoulders.

"He thinks he has to fix everything himself," he said. "Sometimes you have to relax mentally and think that your teammates can also help."

Madrid have not scored in four of their last seven La Liga games and Santillana, who sits fourth behind Ronaldo on the club's all-time top scorers list, said: "I believe it is not a problem of finishing, but in the head.

"A team used to winning trophies recently are going through a psychologically difficult moment."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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