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What could Manchester United’s statement mean for Cristiano’s future?

Manchester United issued a statement confirming that it plans to act following Cristiano Ronaldo’s problematic interview with Piers Morgan.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Manchester United - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - November 6, 2022 Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag talks to Cristiano Ronaldo before the start of the second half REUTERS/Carl Recine EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

It took Manchester United less than 24 hours to respond to Cristiano Ronaldo’s incendiary comments aimed at manager Erik ten Hag. The Portuguese star told TalkTV journalist Piers Morgan that he thinks that “not only the coach, but two or three guys around the club” are trying to kick him out, the team is going backwards and that Ten Hag “doesn’t respect him”.

Ten Hag’s hardline approach

Those explosive accusations came in a teaser for the interview which will be broadcast in full, in two parts on Wednesday and Thursday. Since taking over the coaching post at United, Ten Hag has made it clear that there will be no favouritism while he is in charge - even for Cristiano, by far the highest-paid member of the first team squad.

The Dutch coach has shown zero tolerance with Cristiano, who was recently fined by the club for refusing to come on as a late substitute in the league game against Spurs before storming off down the tunnel before the full-time whistle. He has missed the last two games - Thursday’s EFL Carabao Cup win against Aston Villa and yesterday’s win at Fulham - the team’s last engagement before domestic competition stops for the World Cup.

United’s statement regarding Cristiano’s Pier Morgan interview

United issued a statement on Monday afternoon, which read: “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”.

Cristiano will undoubtedly be fined for his public attack on Ten Hag. Spilling the beans on TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored show and claim that he feels “betrayed” comes across as being calculated and washing the dirty laundry in public - in spite of his claims that he was doing it “for the fans”. Cristiano’s words were also aimed at Ten Hag’s superiors, as he complained that United have made “zero progress” since Sir Alex Ferguson left.

Not only will he face a fine, his future at the club is now in serious jeopardy. He has upset the apple cart in the biggest way by going public; if there was any sense of negativity surrounding the the United camp before, he has just made it a lot worse by openly criticising the institution - something that is not tolerated at club in the world, least of all United.

January window

It is highly unlikely that Cristiano will be in Ten Hag’s squad for the next game, against Forest on 27 December - at Old Trafford. Four days later the winter transfer window opens and Cristiano, whose contract runs out in June, will be eligible to start negotiating with other clubs.


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