Man United will wait for Cristiano Ronaldo’s full interview to air before deciding on the wantaway star’s future… they want to SACK him if they can and are hoping to avoid paying him off as they do not want to reward disloyalty
Manchester United will wait until Cristiano Ronaldo’s full interview has been aired before deciding on his future – but there is a feeling within the club that this situation is far more serious than his previous misdemeanours.
Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler exclusively revealed on Monday that United are exploring ways of sacking Ronaldo after the first clips emerged of his explosive sit-down with Piers Morgan.
In the interview, the second half of which is due to be shown on Thursday night, Ronaldo claimed he had been ‘betrayed’ by United, said he did not respect manager Erik ten Hag and criticised the club and his team-mates.
United’s lawyers are studying Ronaldo’s comments closely to determine whether they constitute a breach of contract but will only decide on their next move once they have seen the entire interview.
Cristiano Ronaldo criticised the club with the club in a damning interview with Piers Morgan
Ronaldo claimed he feels ‘betrayed’ by United and said he has ‘no respect’ for boss Erik ten Hag
But Sportsmail understands the club believe fining Ronaldo, and the wantaway star issuing an apology for his actions, won’t be sufficient this time.
United will sack him or cancel his contract at Old Trafford next summer if they can. They are keen to avoid paying Ronaldo off as they don’t want to reward disloyalty.
They are hoping a mutual agreement can be reached with the 37-year-old, who told the club he wanted to leave in the summer transfer window.
Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford is seen as the least likely scenario and his United team-mates are hoping he is gone before the end of the World Cup.
They believe he has burnt all of his bridges with the squad following his incendiary comments and feel it would be better if United find a way of offloading Ronaldo while he is at the World Cup with Portugal.
Ronaldo has burnt bridges with the Man United squad after his explosive interview
The mood at Old Trafford was already one of consternation and frustration after Ronaldo slammed the club and the manager in clips first aired on Sunday.
That will not have improved after the first installment of the interview aired on Wednesday night, in which he criticised the attitude of United’s young players and said that only his Portugal teammate Diogo Dalot is destined for a long career at the top.
‘Their hunger [is different]. I think they have things more easily, everything’s easy, they don’t suffer – and they don’t care,’ said Ronaldo.
‘If you tell me what I see in Manchester United, I can mention probably Diogo Dalot. He’s young but he’s very professional and I have no doubts that he’s going to have longevity in football.
United’s lawyers are assessing his comments and trying to find grounds for a contract breach
‘We have a few ones more – probably (Lisandro) Martinez – but like Dalot it’s difficult to say.’
Ronaldo’s outspoken views on Ten Hag will air in part two of the interview on Thursday night, but his team-mates believe he has betrayed Ten Hag and the club, not the other way around as he claims.
Raphael Varane was the first United player to speak about Ronaldo on Wednesday, saying: ‘Obviously it affects us. We follow what is happening. We try to calm the situation in our own way and not to get too involved.
Raphael Varane (right) has admitted the United squad have been affected by Ronaldo’s interview
‘When it’s a star like Cristiano, even more so we try to take it with distance, that is to say that we do not try to change the situation alone, we are part of a collective.
‘What I want is the best for my team so whatever the decision the club reach we will accept it.’
Ronaldo, who missed United’s last two games through illness, was absent from Portugal’s training session in Lisbon on Wednesday due to a stomach bug and is a doubt for Thursday’s final World Cup warm-up game against Nigeria.