‘Initiated steps’ - Man Utd release statement in response to Cristiano Ronaldo interview
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During the 90-minutes chat with the TV presenter, which was aired in full across Wednesday and Thursday, the Portugal attacker criticised the club, claiming he felt ‘betrayed’, that he was being forced out by executives and Erik ten Hag, stated he did not respect the current Red Devils manager and said senior figures at the club did not believe him when he missed pre-season due to his daughter having bronchitis.
United had previously stated they would not comment until the interview was shown in full, but released a statement on Friday morning which read: “Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview. We will not be making further comment until this process reaches its conclusion.”
It has been reported that the club plan to seek legal advice on the matter, with suggestions there could be grounds for termination. Ex-United defender Gary Neville, another who was on the receiving end of Ronaldo’s criticisms, said on Thursday that the club ‘have to terminate Cristiano’s contract’.
Ronaldo’s current deal expires at the end of the season, although the club could opt to extend it by an additional year. That looks unlikely at this stage, with the 37-year-old not expected to ever play for Red Devils again. The striker has played 16 times for United in all competitions this season and has scored just three goals.
This is also not Ronaldo’s first misdemeanour of the season. The actions of United’s No.7 and several other team-mates were branded ‘unacceptable’ by Ten Hag after they left Old Trafford early following a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano in August.
Last month, Ronaldo also refused to come off the bench in the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur and instead stormed out of the ground early. As a result, he was fined, forced to train with the Under-21 side and was not selected for the Premier League trip to Chelsea a few days later. Ronaldo is currently with the Portugal squad preparing for their World Cup campaign in Qatar.