Manchester United have taken ‘the first steps’ towards kicking Cristiano Ronaldo out of the club, according to sensational reports.
In addition to his contract being torn up, Ronaldo, who is currently on £500,000 a week at Old Trafford, is set to lose £16 million in wages after United decided ‘there was no way back’ for the experienced forward.
The report also suggests his United teammates are ‘ambivalent’ towards the player and expect him to leave following his comments.
It is believed The Glazers, chief executive Richard Arnold, football director John Murtough and Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag decided that Ronaldo has ‘burnt his bridges’ at Old Trafford.
The idea of further disciplinary action was turned down by the above, according to the Mail, and now they are exploring the possibility of terminating his contract.
On Friday morning, Manchester United released a statement surrounding the Ronaldo situation.
It read: “Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview. We will not be making further comment until this process reaches its conclusion.”
It is understood that the statement relates to initiating legal action to cancel his contract. United do not want to pay Ronaldo any compensation, with it being seen as rewarding disloyalty.
In his interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo opened up on his fractured relationship with manager Erik ten Hag, who ‘provoked’ him to walk out of Old Trafford last month during their Premier League clash against Spurs.
“Piers I will be honest with you, it’s something that I regret to leave from the stadium,” Ronaldo said.
“Probably, or maybe no, I don’t know. It’s difficult to tell you 100 per cent but let’s say I regret, but in the same way I felt provoked by the coach.
“Not allowed for me, a coach to put me in three minutes in a game. Sorry, I’m not that kind of player. I know what I can give to teams.
“Okay, you don’t put me against Manchester City because of respect of your career and you want to put me three minutes against Tottenham. It doesn’t make sense…
“I think he did it on purpose because, for example, in a national team the other clubs, if the coach wants to put me five minutes, if someone injured or if they really need me, I will help. But in that way I felt provoked not only because of that game, but before.”
Image credit: AlamySo what else has Ronaldo said to cause such an uproar? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was extremely critical of the club’s progress since he left for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
“Nothing changed, surprisingly,” he said. “Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym. Even the kitchen, the chefs, whom I appreciate – lovely people. They stopped in time. It surprised me a lot.
“I thought I would see other things, technologies, and infrastructure. Unfortunately, we see a lot of what I used to see at 21, 22, and 23 years old. It really surprised me.
“Since Ferguson left, I haven’t seen an evolution at the club. Progress is zero. You have to tear it down and rebuild it. If they start with me, it’s not a problem.”
You can read a full recap of the Ronaldo interview HERE.