Man Utd call ‘emergency’ meeting amid Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘betrayal’ claims

Manchester United chiefs are set to meet on Monday to deal with the fast-moving Cristiano Ronaldo situation.
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Manchester United have a crisis on their hands with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo’s ‘fairytale return’ has turned sour, and the saga took a fresh turn on Sunday after the first clips of the Portuguese superstar’s interview with Piers Morgan were released. Ronaldo’s discontent was no secret, even before the interview, with much of the summer taken up by headlines involving his name. The veteran player was heavily linked with a move away, and after failing to secure a transfer, Ronaldo returned unhappy. He featured sparingly early on under Erik ten Hag and even refused to come off the bench early in the season, leaving the United sideline before the end of the same game.

In an interview with Morgan, Ronaldo has turned the tables on United, claiming the club has tried to force him out, and suggesting Ten Hag and ‘two or three’ club executives have also been behind the push. Ronaldo has said he feels ‘betrayed’ by the club, and there’s no telling what impact the interview will have, given it comes almost midway through the season.

For now, Ronaldo is out of the building, linking up with Portugal for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but United have a PR crisis on their hands, and club chiefs know they are in a position where they need to act. According to The Telegraph, an emergency meeting has been called between chief executive Richard Arnold, football director John Murtough and Ten Hag, while co-chairman and owner Joel Glazer is being kept in the loop.

The report claims Ronaldo’s teammates have been left ‘hugely disappointed’ by his decision to go public, and it will be interesting to see how United decide to deal with the situation.

United have three games before the end of the year that Ronaldo could be involved in, though, if Portugal reach the semi-finals, he wouldn’t play the first of those anyway. After Premier League clashes with Nottingham Forest and Wolves, the transfer window will swing open, and United could look for a way out then.

Ronaldo is still under contract, and he could still be due a fair pay-off unless he agrees to mutually end his contract. Alternatively, United could opt to offload him for free, if Jorge Mendes can find a club to take over his contract. That’s assuming United do decide they want to end the relationship in January.

Meawhile, football lawyer David Seligman told Football365 that United could try to argue they have grounds to terminate the star’s contract over the interview content.