Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has told Red Devils chiefs that Cristiano Ronaldo should never play for the club again in the wake of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner recently launched a relentless attack on the Red Devils, singling out several club members past and present and claiming that he was being pushed out of the door.
Ronaldo admitted that he did not respect Ten Hag and criticized the club’s owners the Glazer family, as well as targeting Ralf Rangnick, Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville.
The Portugal international’s comments shocked the footballing world and have likely spelled the end of his Man United career, although he was only playing a bit-part role under Ten Hag anyway.
Man United released a short statement following the publication of the interview, which read: “Manchester United notes the media coverage regarding an interview by Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The club will consider its response after the full facts have been established. Our focus remains on preparing for the second half of the season and continuing the momentum, belief and togetherness being built among the players, manager, staff, and fans.”
According to ESPN, Ten Hag has now told Man United that Ronaldo should never wear the shirt again, having spoken with co-chairman Joel Glazer, chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough on Monday.
The report adds that Ten Hag has pushed back the start of a family holiday to respond to Ronaldo’s criticisms, and players have also been left infuriated with the interview.
Ronaldo has less than a year left to run on his contract with the Red Devils, but the 20-time English champions are expected to freeze him out of the squad before trying to sell him in January.
The ex-Real Madrid and Juventus man would depart as a free agent at the end of the season if no January deal can be agreed, and Man United are thought to be seeking legal advice before making their decision.
The Red Devils could look to terminate Ronaldo’s deal if he is found to be in breach of contract, as the 37-year-old has already landed himself in hot water twice with Ten Hag this year.
After leaving a summer friendly against Rayo Vallecano early, Ronaldo then refused to come off the bench against Tottenham Hotspur last month and was briefly dropped from the squad as a result.
The veteran striker has only scored three goals and set up two more in 16 games for Man United this term, and Ten Hag’s side are expected to ramp up their search for a replacement in January.
A shock move for Paris Saint-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe has been mooted, but the 23-year-old would likely command a fee of at least £150m to leave the French capital over the winter.
Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk have also been named as potential targets, while Roma are supposedly willing to listen to January offers for Tammy Abraham.
Ronaldo is currently preparing for Portugal’s international friendly with Nigeria on Thursday before they take on Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in World Cup Group H