Cristiano Ronaldo - why Man Utd forward is unhappy, what happened vs Tottenham & why is he missing vs Chelsea?

Cristiano Ronaldo walked straight down the tunnel and refused to come on as a substitute in Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Returning to the club where he made his name, Cristiano Ronaldo earned himself a hero’s welcome back at Manchester United in 2021. Fast forward one year later and the Portuguese superstar has his eye on the exit door.

Initially playing under his former teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Dutchman Erik ten Hag took the helm this summer. Under the former Ajax manager, Ronaldo has struggled to start in the Premier League.

This has led to the 37-year-old becoming increasingly unhappy, expressing his discontent during the recent win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. United stormed out convincing 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes, but so did a furious Ronaldo who rushed straight down the tunnel with two minutes left of play remaining.

Following the full-time whistle, Ten Hag was quizzed on the incident, and then subsequently during his press conference on Friday. The United boss responded, promising he would “deal” with Ronaldo. He said: “Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on against Tottenham. There has to be consequences. It is important for the attitude and mentality of the group.”

As punishment, Ten Hag has now excluded Ronaldo from the matchday squad for Saturday’s game against Chelsea. Explaining his decision, Ten Hag said: “It will have a reflection for him, but also for everyone. First time with Rayo was not acceptable, but it was not the only one. The second time has consequences. Football is a team sport and you have to respect standards. Cristiano remains an important player in the squad.”

Ronaldo was United’s top goalscorer last season, scoring a total of 24 goals. This includes 18 coming  in the Premier League.

But why is Ronaldo so unhappy at United and will he leave the club, either in the January transfer window or next summer? Here is everything you need to know about Ronaldo’s situation at United.

Why is Cristiano Ronaldo unhappy at Manchester United?

Ronaldo is furious because he is not playing regular first-team football. He has only started two Premier League games so far this season, with six substitute appearances. He was an unused substitute during United’s 6-3 defeat away at local rivals Manchester City on 2 October a decison Ten Hag said was out of respect for his big career’.

The United manager said before a recent Europa League game against Omonia Nicosia: “He was not happy that he was not playing on Sunday. Of course, he wants to play and he’s annoyed when he is not playing. It is clear.

"But when I tell you all the players, when you’re here and you’re happy, or satisfied, when you’re on the bench, this is not a club where you have to be, and especially Cristiano. He’s really competitive, as we all know. He’s not happy of course when he’s not playing. But I already said and, I have to repeat, he’s training well, he has a good mood, he’s motivated and he gives his best. That is what we expect.”

Ten Hag added: “Nobody is the same in the team, I will treat everyone with respect but they all have different backgrounds. I have to treat players differently to get the best out of them, but there are general standards and values that count for everyone."

Is Cristiano Ronaldo going to leave Manchester United?

Following the uncertainty that surrounded Ronaldo’s future in the summer, with the forward reportedly offered to the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, it was largely understood that the Portuguese striker would remain at Old Trafford until at least January.

Reports suggest that Ronaldo was and remains very keen to find a move away from Manchester United as soon as possible. The forward’s contract with United expires in the summer, although the club can extend it by a further year.

Who are the favourites to sign Cristiano Ronaldo?

According to official odds from betting company Sky Bet, the following are Ronaldo’s likely destinations in January. Odds are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change. Check with betting companies directly for the latest odds.

  • Chelsea - 2/1
  • Sporting Lisbon - 16/1
  • Atletico Madrid - 20/1

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