The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has claimed he feels the club have tried to force him out, while adding he felt ‘betrayed’ and doesn’t respect manager Erik ten Hag. In a separate clip which was released on Monday, Ronaldo said United’s owners, the Glazers, ‘don’t care’ about the club. He also took a swipe at ex-team-mates Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville and said they are not his ‘friends’.
And the reaction from Old Trafford has begun to emerge. As per ESPN, Ten Hag feels Ronaldo has ‘gone too far’ with his criticisms of the club, and claim it will be ‘almost impossible to reintegrate the 37-year-old into the squad’. The outlet adds United are seeking legal advice on the matter and state Ten Hag held a meeting with Joel Glazer, chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough to discuss how best to resolve the situation.
The United boss is happy to allow Ronaldo to leave the club in January even if a replacement cannot be found, while ESPN reports senior United players are ‘furious’ with Ronaldo for the timing of his interview.
Bruno Fernandes was filmed on Monday having an awkward exchange with his international team-mate as he arrived for Portugal’s pre-World Cup camp. But The Athletic claim sources close to Fernandes have said his reaction, where he appeared to blank Ronaldo, was a ‘joke’.
They add Ten Hag is ‘relaxed’ about the situation which actually plays into the club’s hands. There is even a feeling that Ronaldo may have breached the terms of his contract by doing the interview, with Arnold said to be consulting lawyers to determine whether there are grounds to terminate the player’s contract.
“United and Ronaldo will both seek a separation once the transfer window opens at New Year,” The Athletic adds, although finding a new club for the attacker may pose a separate issue as it proved impossible to secure a transfer last summer. It’s also reported that it is believed the interview was conducted last week, and there’s a feeling in the United squad that Ronaldo’s dig at Rooney was ‘needless’.