Manchester United players do not expect Cristiano Ronaldo to make the squad when the Premier League resumes, sources have told ESPN.
Club bosses have discussed the 37-year-old’s future at Old Trafford following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
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Co-chairman Joel Glazer, director of football John Murtough, chief executive Richard Arnold and manager Erik ten Hag held a meeting on Monday while United also sought legal advice on how best to resolve the issue.
Ten Hag, sources say, believes he can no longer work with Ronaldo after the striker said he ‘didn’t respect’ the Dutchman, and communicated that view to the Glazers, Arnold and Murtough.
Sources have also told ESPN that the majority of the squad don’t believe there is a way back for the Portugal international, particularly because Ten Hag has taken such a hard line on discipline. team since taking over as manager this summer.
Ronaldo was among United players reprimanded in July after he was pictured leaving early in a pre-season friendly with Rayo Vallecano.
He was then suspended by Ten Hag in October for refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur and missed the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
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Other players have also broken Ten Hag’s rules – sources told ESPN they were much stricter than those imposed by predecessors Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick – including teenager Alejandro Garnacho, who missed team meetings during the pre-season tour in Thailand and Australia. because he was jet lagged.
Sources have told ESPN that Ronaldo apologized to his teammates for refusing to play against Spurs but was left confused by Ten Hag’s decision to put him on in the final moments despite allegedly being disrespectful to feature him as a late substitute during the 6-3 defeat at Manchester City three weeks earlier.
Ronaldo, sources say, was also upset by Ten Hag’s decision to ban him from the first-team dressing room while being ordered to train on his own following the 2-0 win over Tottenham and had to resort to asking one of the club’s youth players to retrieve his sneakers.
United will wait to find out the full extent of Ronaldo’s interview before making a final decision on his future. He has a contract until the summer, plus an option to extend his contract until June 2024.
The former Real Madrid and Juventus player is preparing for the World Cup with Portugal, who kick off their campaign in Qatar against Ghana on November 24.