Gary Neville believes Manchester United “are better without” Cristiano Ronaldo.
Red Devils’ boss Erik ten Hag jettisoned the iconic No7 for United’s away match against Chelsea. The former Ajax manager also made the 37-year-old train with the U21s as punishment, after Ronaldo left Old Trafford early during United’s impressive 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Ten Hag and Ronaldo’s relationship appears to be beyond repair, particularly after the former Ajax manager claimed the Portuguese ace also refused to come on as a substitute. And after another week of drama at Old Trafford, Neville believes it is time for both parties to cut their losses.
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"Well, it has been a big week for Erik ten Hag," Neville said on Sky Sports' commentary during the Chelsea and United game. "I don't think he was left with any other option.
"That's the second time Cristiano Ronaldo has left Old Trafford and got in his car before his team have got back into the changing room. I have to say, as someone in the dressing room, it's something that's unacceptable.
"When you look at whether Cristiano should be selected, Manchester United are better without him – and Erik ten Hag knows that. The only thing that Cristiano and the club can do is get together in the next week and end the relationship.
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"Cristiano is too good of a player, too fantastic of a character and the club have got to move on." This will likely be music to the ears of Ten Hag, who has been lambasted and praised in equal merit for his firm decision on Ronaldo.
The Dutchman has never seemed convinced by Ronaldo’s contributions, having only started him on three occasions in the Premier League this season. Ronaldo looked destined for the Old Trafford exit door in the summer, but ended up remaining on the red side of Manchester.
With the January transfer window two and a half months away, all eyes will surely be on Old Trafford.
His team-mates, meanwhile, snatched a late draw at top-four rivals Chelsea as the contest finished 1-1 thanks to a header from Casemiro.
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