Manchester United were furious with Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive attack on the club and manager Erik ten Hag, sources told ESPN.
United are particularly upset at the timing of the interview with Piers Morgan, in which Ronaldo said he “doesn’t respect” Ten Hag, just hours after the team made a point of showing off their team spirit and cohesion following the dramatic eventual winner at Fulham.
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United have so far declined to comment on the interview, with sources telling ESPN they want to focus on what they believe to be a significant win at Craven Cottage, secured thanks to Alejandro Garnacho’s stoppage-time goal.
Privately, however, the club disputes some of the points that Ronaldo has put forward.
The 37-year-old claims United and Ten Hag wanted to “squeeze” him out in the summer, but sources have told ESPN that United were made aware during the transfer window that the forward’s representatives were actively scouting for a move.
United have also questioned Ronaldo’s claim that their Carrington training base has not been updated since he was last at Old Trafford.
Sources have told ESPN that the pool, canteen and relaxation areas have all been refurbished, while more than £200,000 has been spent to build a state-of-the-art analysis and meeting room at Ten Hag’s specific request.
Sources have told ESPN United are leaving Ten Hag to deal with Ronaldo’s latest leak, with the support of football director John Murtough and chief executive Richard Arnold.
Ten Hag took the lead when Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham in October, suspending the Portugal international from first-team training and not making him available for the 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
Some sources close to the club believe Ronaldo’s interview is designed as a “power play” to force a move from Old Trafford in January while also negotiating a financial deal for the remaining months of his contract, which runs until June. United have been open about letting Ronaldo go for free since the summer but have been reluctant to agree to a payout.
Sources have told ESPN that United have only received one offer from Saudi Arabia during the transfer window despite reported interest from Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Napoli and Atletico Madrid.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/4802851/cristiano-ronaldos-explosive-interview-furious-man-utd-siding-with-ten-hag-in-power-battle-sources Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview: Furious Man Utd siding with Ten Hag in power battle