Ronaldo free to leave Man Utd in January as club greats fire up over ‘disrespect’

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Ronaldo free to leave Man Utd in January as club greats fire up over ‘disrespect’

Cristiano Ronaldo could get his wish and exit Manchester United in January should the Premier League giants receive a suitable offer for his services.

That is according to a report from The Telegraph, which claims coach Erik ten Hag “will not stand” in Ronaldo’s way if an “acceptable offer” comes from a rival team.

“Having wanted to keep Ronaldo when he first took over, Ten Hag has been more relaxed about him leaving ever since the player made it clear he wanted to go,” the report added.

It comes after debate erupted over ten Hag’s decision to leave Ronaldo on the bench during the team’s 6-3 loss to Manchester City.

Ten Hag said he did not bring Ronaldo into the game “out of respect” for the 37-year-old given the humiliating nature of the defeat at that point.

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane though claimed the club was actually showing “disrespect” in its treatment of Ronaldo.

“I think United are showing disrespect to Ronaldo. He should have been let go before the transfer window,” he said.

“The manager held on to him. Ok, he said he wanted options. But you don’t hold on to Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He is one of the greatest players ever. He had options [to move in the summer]. This idea he didn’t have options is rubbish. He had four or five good options.

“The big picture is that he [Ten Hag] is not going to play Ronaldo. It is just going to get uglier as the season goes on. United have shown nothing but disrespect to Ronaldo.”

Cristiano Ronaldo remained on the bench. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Fellow Sky Sports pundit and former United captain Gary Neville though disagreed, writing on Twitter: “I get [Ten Hag’s] point to be honest.

“Bringing Ronaldo on at 4-0 and 6-1 would have been an insult,” he added.

“Ten Hag may not have delivered the line correctly and probably would have been best not saying it, but I like his honesty.”

Neville had support from Jamie Carragher, who added on Twitter: “The idea that [Ten Hag] got it wrong yesterday by not playing Ronaldo is laughable! Ronaldo played at Brentford when it was 4-0 at [half-time]! It’s not a dig at [Ronaldo], but Rashford’s pace on the counter attack as we saw v Arsenal/Liverpool was 100% the best option.”