The majority of Manchester United players believe Cristiano Ronaldo should never play for the club again. Ronaldo’s incendiary interview with Piers Morgan on Talk TV, in which he said he has “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag, has compelled the club to consider terminating his contract.
Dressing room sources have told the Manchester Evening News most of Ronaldo’s teammates feel the Portuguese should now leave the club before the closure of the January transfer window.
A number of players prefer playing without Ronaldo, with Bruno Fernandes especially conscious of his dwindling impact since Ronaldo rejoined United in August 2021.
Also read: Exclusive: United feel Ronaldo’s criticism of two issues is unfair
Fernandes and Ronaldo were filmed in an awkward exchange when Fernandes reported at the Portugal national team training camp in Qeiras, although United sources suggest Fernandes was weary after a delayed flight.
However, sources close to some senior players insist there has been ‘friction’ between Ronaldo and Fernandes for some time. Fernandes has scored all three of his goals this season when Ronaldo has not been on the pitch.
Ronaldo said in his interview with Morgan certain figures at United do not want him at the club and a minority of the squad scapegoated him for United’s disastrous 2021-22 campaign.
Some players have felt cowed by Ronaldo’s presence while there was annoyance that his negativity overshadowed another positive win at Fulham on Sunday.
United players only became aware of Ronaldo’s interview after the game when they were flying back to Manchester from London. Some teammates have also taken a dim view of the timing of the interview as Ronaldo missed last week’s wins over Aston Villa and Fulham through illness.
Ronaldo last trained with the United squad on Wednesday but trained with his Portugal teammates on Monday and Tuesday.
The first of Ronaldo’s two-part interview with Morgan is scheduled to air on Wednesday night.