Erik ten Hag held an emergency meeting with the Man Utd decision-makers and urged them to do one thing with Cristiano Ronaldo, while several senior stars have been left ‘furious’ at a young player being marginalised, per a report.
Ronaldo deployed a scorched earth policy when criticising numerous current and previous elements of the club. Erik ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick, the hierarchy, owners and the Old Trafford culture all came under attack.
In the second part of the interview, Ronaldo took aim at those that have begun to criticise him within the media, such as former team-mate, Gary Neville.
The timing of the interview has caught the eye, being released just hours after Man Utd scored a last-minute winner to snatch all three points against Fulham.
It also came just after domestic football gave way to the international arena, something many observers have claimed was with a view to generating maximum traffic and causing the most amount of damage to Man Utd.
Ronaldo will forever retain some backers within the fanbase. Indeed, his criticism of the much maligned Glazer ownership will play well to the gallery.
However, according to ESPN, one influential figure he’ll no longer count among his backers is the manager.
Ten Hag takes a stand
ESPN report Ten Hag – who delayed a family holiday to deal with the fallout – held an emergency meeting with senior United figures on Monday. Also in attendance were co-chairman Joel Glazer, chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough.
The outlet state Ten Hag told the selected officials ‘Cristiano Ronaldo should not play for the club again’.
The Dutch boss was and still is of the belief Ronaldo could be a vital part of his overall plans in the second half of the season as they chase Champions League qualification.
However, it’s noted Ronaldo’s comment about having no respect for Ten Hag in particular was a step too far. As such, Ten Hag will not select Ronaldo again if he’s retained beyond January.
Furthermore, the Dutchman is on board with Ronaldo leaving in the winter window – even if United are unable to sign a direct replacement.
Clearly, Ronaldo has burned his bridges with the United boss who is prepared to lack for firepower for the benefit of ‘unity’ within the squad.
On that front, the report adds several senior stars were left furious with Ronaldo’s interview.
Man Utd stars ‘furious’ at Garnacho being overshadowed
While no names are cited, it’s claimed the timing in particular – just hours after Alejandro Garnacho’s injury time winner v Fulham – has irked the club’s established stars.
Garnacho, 19, should’ve been the centre of attention for his 93rd minute winner against the Cottagers. However, mere hours after his late winner, Ronaldo grabbed the headlines for himself with his tell-all interview. Senior stars are deemed ‘furious’ as a result.
Barring a remarkable turnaround, there appears no way back for Ronaldo at Old Trafford.
He holds a reputation as a model professional and his work ethic and dedication to his craft off the field is legendary. However, ill-discipline has crept in since returning to Manchester.
Ronaldo has twice been sanctioned by Ten Hag this season alone. Ronaldo left a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano early. He later refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham that resulted in his suspension from the team that drew 1-1 with Chelsea.
Ronaldo also received a police caution for slapping a mobile phone out of a young Everton fan’s hand last season.
The Portuguese will forever be a major part in the club’s history, though many may wish his return to the club had never come to pass.