Cristiano Ronaldo took part in an interview where he criticised Man Utd and manager Erik ten Hag; club will consider legal advice before responding to 37-year-old's claims; Sky Sports News understands Ten Hag and United players are extremely disappointed with manner and timing of interview
Tuesday 15 November 2022 12:05, UK
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."
On Monday evening more footage from the interview was released, with Ronaldo claiming members of the United hierarchy doubted him when he said he could not attend pre-season because his daughter was ill in hospital.
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.
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."
Sky Sports News senior reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"As far as Erik ten 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.
"I would not rule anything out at the moment, United will be having talks at the club today (Monday) with senior officials working out what their next move should be.
"Some people are suggesting there are grounds for Ronaldo to be… I would not say sacked, but it feels that this is so serious to be saying the kind of things he said and also on the back of the disciplinary issues he has had with the club this season and there is a feeling that enough is enough.
"He said in the interview that he has had enough and he is not going to be silent anymore and I think that feeling is shared by United as well, they have had enough of Ronaldo."
Jamie Carragher speaking to Sky Sports News:
I just thought the comments were bizarre. They were bang out of order considering the timing of it: On the back of Manchester United fans being delighted after getting a winning goal at Fulham with the last kick of the game.
It should give them excitement over the next month for when the league starts again. They should be enjoying themselves and then the Ronaldo interview comes out and boom - it's about negativity. Not the team, not the manager - it's about Cristiano Ronaldo. And it's been like that since he's come back. It's basically been the Cristiano Ronaldo show.
At times that's been good on the pitch, last season he got a lot of goals. But this season he's not involved and he's craving the attention that he can't get because he's not on the pitch. The only way he's going to do that is by causing trouble and that was exactly his intention with the interview.
He wants to be sacked, that's obvious. He told the club in the summer that he wanted to leave, which is football - these things happen. There were no takers, maybe because of his wages or the price Manchester United wanted. I think he knows that's going to be the same in this next transfer window and maybe the following summer and he is now trying to be sacked or wants to leave on a free. That's the only way he's going to get out.
And I think United should sack him or move him on by giving him a free transfer. At the moment, they're trying to build something that is not trying to win the Premier League or the Champions League right now. The manager will want to push for those honours in the next two or three years and Ronaldo is not going to be around.
He is going to be a distraction, this will not go away. As soon as a player comes out and says he doesn't respect the manager, how is that going to work when he walks into the first day of the post-World Cup season? It can't work that going forward - there will be people taking pictures, we will be asking about Ronaldo to the manager in interviews for Sky. United don't need the hassle.
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor outside Old Trafford:
"The fans we've spoken too are upset by what's gone on. They have had plenty to say on the matter, more than the club itself because we know at this stage that Man Utd are not making any official comment.
"But what we do understand is the feeling within the club is that they will not let Ronaldo';s comments overshadow a great winning moment at Fulham on Sunday when the fans and the squad showed the kind of togetherness and spirit that they really want around the club.
"Erik Ten Hag and the Manchester United players are extremely disappointed with the manner and timing of Ronaldo's interview and the fans we've spoken to echo that. There is a lot of support for the manager as well in this situation.
"The fans, while asking the question where the club would be without his goals last season, appear to be resigned to Ronaldo leaving the club in January for the good of both parties.
"The overall feeling amongst many Manchester United fans is that Ronaldo's legacy is still intact but for how long will he remain at Old Trafford? It's no surprise that the pertinent question is has Ronaldo played his last game for Man Utd."
Portuguese journalist Pedro Sepulveda on Sky Sports News:
"When there is any news about Cristiano Ronaldo social media tries to link him to Sporting Lisbon.
"I tried to find out if there is any chance of Sporting trying to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. From my sources, the answer is the same: There is no chance Cristiano Ronaldo could join Sporting in this winter transfer window.
"Even for Ruben Amorim, the coach of Sporting Lisbon, Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't fit into his project for the future of Sporting.
"So there is no solid base here right now for this link with Cristiano Ronaldo and Sporting Lisbon for the next transfer window.
"Ronaldo crossed a line in Manchester United with the words that he used - saying that he no longer respects Erik ten Hag.
"Ronaldo knows that now he has the time to change his future because now he will be in the World Cup and will not return to Man Utd soon.
"If you look at the schedule, Man Utd have five more games until the winter transfer window. I think this could be the last dance for Cristiano Ronaldo because he has gone all in with this interview.
"He will try to play as best as he can in the World Cup and see if there is any interest in him from other clubs, with the objective that he will be playing Champions League."
Former Chicago Fire forward Calen Carr on Sky Sports News:
"I highly doubt this. It sounds like Ronaldo is still desperate to prove some of the doubters wrong and to find his way into a top club and be the central figure in Europe and in the Champions League.
"That's what he's been steadfast in by saying over and over.
"Whether MLS would interest him - it doesn't seem like it would answer any of those questions.
"It seems like it may pose them in a different direction. I just feel like this is something that we would not likely see.
"But then some of it comes down to what his options are.
"What happens after this? As far as top clubs coming in for him are concerned, maybe if he gets out of his current deal that would open up a door.
"But when the wages and all of that come through, maybe he has to look at different options and maybe then MLS becomes a better option and a more intriguing one. From everything we've heard from him, though, it doesn't sound like that."