‘I’m a bit disappointed in him’: Gary Neville slams Cristiano Ronaldo for creating a ‘messy’ start to life at Manchester United for new boss Erik ten Hag… and he calls on the Portuguese superstar to face up and end to the “unpleasant” release saga
- Gary Neville admitted he was ‘disappointed’ with Cristiano Ronaldo’s conduct
- The unstable Man United star has been linked with a move all summer
- United legend Neville asked why Ronaldo hasn’t cleared things up yet
- He said the situation at Old Trafford was ‘messy’ amid continuing uncertainty
Gary Neville has called on Cristiano Ronaldo to take control of his future as he admitted the striker’s conduct has been “disappointing” over the summer amid continued uncertainty over his future at Manchester United.
The Portuguese superstar has told the club he wants to leave Old Trafford in pursuit of Champions League trophies and football, but an exit has yet to materialize and no concrete offers have been forthcoming.
Tensions escalated further last week when the striker was substituted in a 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano and left the stadium before full time – manager Erik ten Hag calling the episode of “unacceptable”.
Gary Neville (right) admits he is ‘disappointed’ with the conduct of Cristiano Ronaldo (left) this summer
Manager Erik ten Hag faced most questions about Ronaldo amid uncertainty
The Dutchman still faces a huge dilemma over whether to start him in his pre-season opener against Brighton on Sunday due to his lack of fitness, and United legend Neville believes any the saga could have been broadcast if the player had gone public and provided more clarity on the situation.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Friday night, Neville took aim at Ronaldo, telling Sky Sports: “I’m a bit disappointed with him.” Because he lets the manager participate in these press conferences.
“He is at a good age, he was one of the best players in the world. Couldn’t he do this interview?
“Sunday we are going to ask him after the game, could he not come and talk to us instead of asking others to say him?”
The Portuguese striker is looking for an exit but no formal offers have materialized yet
Indeed, Ten Hag has had to do much of the firefighting against Ronaldo in a situation that has dominated much of United’s pre-season so far.
This week he was forced to calm things down when asked about the player’s decision to leave the Rayo friendly early, showing his frustration with the uncertainty as he changed tactics and said that it was “unfair” to target Ronaldo when a number of players were also gone.
“Now I have to point out those who left… there were a lot of players who left but the spotlight is on Cristiano, and that’s not right,” Ten Hag said.
“So do your research and find out that many players have left. This is neither correct nor acceptable.
“I don’t understand what the connection is. He was part of it. There were a lot of players.
When asked if he had spoken to Ronaldo and the other players, Ten Hag replied: “You mention it, correct them, then move on.” We have said enough. I said that was wrong.
Neville thinks Ronaldo created a ‘messy’ situation at Old Trafford by remaining silent
Neville reflected on what had become a “messy” situation at Old Trafford, and he called on the club’s hierarchy to resolve the matter anyway to allow the team to focus on the season ahead.
“I think we all know that if a Champions League club comes to him, he will go. But at the moment that hasn’t happened. It’s a bit unpleasant,” he added .
“It’s messy for him, it’s messy for the club. We want him to stay, we don’t want these sagas to drag on. As United fans, we don’t want this to go on for another three weeks.
“I think it’s definitely a tougher job than it already was for Ten Hag, with Ronaldo’s situation and De Jong’s situation. If [Ronaldo] is fit, he starts.
Anthony Martial is unavailable for the opener against Brighton after picking up a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid in Oslo, so Ten Hag has a real problem on the hands of who leads the line for his new side then as he seeks to lead a new era at the club.