No way back for Ronaldo after explosive interview – media
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has told club officials that Cristiano Ronaldo must never play for the team again following the Portuguese star’s bombshell interview with UK TV host Piers Morgan in which he accused the club of “betraying” him, according to ESPN.
Ten Hag, who Ronaldo said that he doesn’t respect, is understood to have held a meeting on Monday with the club’s co-chairman Joel Glazer, chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough, during which they discussed the potential disciplinary measures which might be taken.
The Dutchman is understood to have communicated to the club’s hierarchy that Ronaldo’s comments were unacceptable and that there is no path back for him into the first team once he completes his international duties with Portugal at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
United were only made aware of the interview following their 2-1 victory against Fulham on Sunday, with reports indicating that the club have sought legal advice as to how to respond to Ronaldo’s claims.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was also highly critical of the club’s ownership, the Glazer family, as well as issuing a stinging rebuke of the club’s all-time top goalscorer, Wayne Rooney.
Ronaldo has already found himself in hot water on several occasions in recent months. He was reprimanded by Ten Hag for refusing to come on a substitute in a Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur, while he was also cautioned by Merseyside police for slapping a phone out of a young fan’s hand at Goodison Park in April.
But the unsanctioned interview, the first part of which is due to be broadcast on Wednesday evening, appears to be the final straw for Ten Hag and United, who have come to the opinion that Ronaldo’s merits on the pitch cannot come at the expense of team unity and solidarity.
Ronaldo, who is said to be on a wage of £500,000 ($595,000) per week, is expected to be permitted to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window – provided that he and his agent Jorge Mendes can find a suitable destination for the soon-to-be 38-year-old forward.