Manchester United will have legal advice before they decide how to respond to Cristiano Ronaldo’s bombshell interview.
Ronaldo’s interview with TalkTV, published by The Sun on Sunday evening, saw the 37-year-old criticise the club and manager Erik ten Hag, who the player says he has “no respect” for.
The forward said he feels “betrayed” by Manchester United for trying to force him out of the club, with Ronaldo claiming United have made “zero progress” since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
United responded to the interview on Monday with the following statement: “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.”
Senior figures at the club are holding talks about how to deal with the player.
Sky Sports News understands Ten Hag and the United players are extremely disappointed with the manner and timing of Ronaldo’s interview.
The club only found out about the interview as they were preparing to fly back from London on Sunday evening following their 2-1 win over Fulham and they do not understand why he has said what he has said.
They are hugely disappointed that he would disrespect the club, his manager and team-mates in this way and United are likely to consider all their options now regarding the player.
Ronaldo was told on Thursday that he would not be in the starting XI against Fulham but he would have been in the squad. He told the club he was ill.
What Ronaldo said
When asked if United’s hierarchy were trying to force him out of the club, Ronaldo said: “Yes. Not only the coach, but the other two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed.
When quizzed again if senior club executives were trying to oust him, the 37-year-old replied: “Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t care. People should hear the truth. Yes, I feel betrayed. Some people don’t want me here not only this year, but last year too.
“I don’t know what’s going on. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left I have seen not evolution in the club. The progress was zero.
“For example, an interesting point is how a club like Manchester United sacked Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer), they bring in a sporting director Ralf Rangnick which is something nobody understands. This guy is not even a coach! A big club like Manchester United bringing in a sporting director surprised not only me but all the world.
“Nothing changes. Not only the jacuzzi, the pool, even the gym. Even some points of technology, the kitchen, the chefs – who I appreciate, lovely people! They stop in time which surprised me a lot.
“I thought I would see different things, technology, infrastructure. Unfortunately, we see many things I’m used to seeing when I’m 21, 22, 23. It surprised me a lot.”
Ronaldo also said of Ten Hag: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
‘It’s the club’s problem, not Ten Hag’s problem now’
Sky Sports News senior reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“As far as Erik The Hag is concerned, he has never disrespected any player including Ronaldo. The 37-year-old has started four games since he was dropped for the game at Chelsea and he was captain for the league game against Aston Villa on November 6.
“It’s the club’s problem, not Ten Hag’s problem now. It has got so big that it has to be dealt with by owners and senior figures at the club, not something Ten Hag can deal with on his own.
“It appears that there is no way back for Ronaldo now at United and it’s unlikely he’ll play for the club again.
“Everyone at the club has done whatever they can to help Ronaldo but there is only so much they can do.
“When he was told that he was not starting against Villa in the Carabao Cup clash on November 10, he went to see United’s medical department to tell them he was not well. United have not seen him since.”
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