‘Massive statement’ - Gary Neville delivers shock prediction on where Man Utd could finish if Ronaldo leaves

The pundit has issued a stark warning to his former club.

Gary Neville has claimed that Manchester United could finish in the “bottom half of the table” if they lose Cristiano Ronaldo this season.

The Red Devils have made a dreadful start to their Premier League campaign, losing 2-1 to Brighton in their opening fixture before being humiliated by Brentford on Saturday evening.

And while matters on the pitch are bleak, one of the main issues still to be resolved at Old Trafford this summer is the future of talismanic forward Ronaldo.

The Portuguese icon has been heavily linked with an exit from United in recent weeks, and is understood to be dissatisfied with his situation at the club.

But given United’s slump in output, and the frustrations they are currently experiencing in their recruitment efforts, Neville has delivered a dire warning of the impact Ronaldo’s departure could have on their top flight fortunes this term.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, he said: ““I think there’s a massive decison to be made on Cristiano Ronaldo. I think they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

“A few weeks ago, before the season started, before these two results, I said probably the best thing to do was to facilitate a move out of the club, for Cristiano and for the club.

“He’s obviously not happy and the club are not happy with him.

“The problem is is now, I think if they lose him, then there’s nothing left in terms of the actual goalscoring part of the pitch.

“I genuinely think that if they don’t bring players in in this next couple of weeks, or if they bring poor players in, and he leaves, I genuinely think they could finish in the bottom half of the table. I think that’s a bottom half of the table team. That’s a massive statement. I might look stupid at the end of the season.”

The former United defender added: “They’re absolutely demoralised and shot to pieces, and I think it’s really bad in there.

“I thought Erik ten Hag in preseason had got them to a really confident level, but actually what’s happened is that basically they’ve gone back to default.”