France defender Raphael Varane has said his Manchester United team-mates were clearly affected by Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments in a TV interview that he disrespected manager Erik ten Hag and felt betrayed by the Premier League side.
In an explosive interview with TalkTV that cast doubt on his future at the club, Ronaldo said he was forced to leave the team he joined in August 2021 for his second spell after winning eight major trophies with them. from 2003 to 2009.
United said they would only respond to the Portuguese striker’s comments after establishing all the facts, but Varane said the situation had an impact on the players.
“Obviously it affects us,” Varane, who was selected in France’s squad for the World Cup in Qatar, told French radio. Europe1. “We follow what is happening and what is being said.
“We are trying to calm the situation in our own way, we are trying not to get too involved. What is happening in the media at the big clubs is gaining momentum.
“When it’s a star like Ronaldo, even more, then we try to take it with distance, that is to say, we don’t try to change the situation on our own, we are part of a collective .”
Last month, Ten Hag said Ronaldo refused to come on as a Tottenham substitute when the striker walked down the tunnel with minutes remaining after being left on the bench.
The 37-year-old was then not part of the squad that faced Chelsea the following Saturday.
Varane, who also played alongside Ronaldo at Spanish side Real Madrid, said the team were ready to accept whatever United decided.
“What I want is the best for my team, so whatever the decision, as players, we will accept it and give our best,” added Varane.
On Tuesday, Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario said an awkward handshake between Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes was the result of a joke between club and country team-mates.
While Cristiano Ronaldo has slim choices for his next move, Manchester United are already targeting a new elite striker, says Melissa Reddy.
Speaking on a special edition of Essential Soccer podcast, Sky Sports News senior reporter Reddy said a lack of interest from Napoli, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, who had all courted Ronaldo in the summer, meant the options for the reviled striker for his next move were limited.
“Chelsea wanted it, Thomas Tuchel opposed it, and Graham Potter doesn’t want to deal with Ronaldo’s side show like United,” she said.
“Then there’s Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, all those clubs that have declared themselves out of the running. Napoli have been adamant that they won’t move in January for Ronaldo or any other great player.
“They’re happy with their form and how they see their future progressing. They’re one of the most entertaining teams to watch in Europe right now. It’s off limits for them. It looks like he has a fairly limited pool of options.
“Maybe he thinks that will change if he’s a free agent, but I don’t see how the top clubs, who believe they can win the Champions League, can see him making a crucial difference in positive way to achieve this.
“Sport are the ones who romanticized the idea of Ronaldo returning. They said it would be a dream for him to come back, and the only hurdle is the financial implications of his return.
“Even taking a huge pay cut would make it difficult to make the numbers work. However, they know he would give them a commercial boost like no other player could – and that could help generate the funds. necessary for his move. That seems to be the only realistic option for him.”
United will take legal advice before deciding how to respond to Ronaldo, but will await publication of the full interview later this week before making a decision.
Sky Sports News understands Ten Hag and the United players are extremely disappointed with the manner and timing of Ronaldo’s interview.
The club only found out about the interview as they prepared to return from London on Sunday night after their 2-1 win over Fulham and they don’t understand why he said what he said.
They are extremely disappointed that he is disrespecting the club, his manager and his team-mates in this way and United are likely to consider all of their options now regarding the player.
Ronaldo was told on Thursday that he would not be in the starting XI against Fulham but would have been in the squad. He told the club he was sick.
Ronaldo: Absolute focus on Portugal
Ronaldo has joined the Portugal squad for the World Cup and has insisted his “absolute focus” is on the national team amid furor over his Piers Morgan Uncensored interview.
Ronaldo said on Twitter: “Total and absolute focus on the work of the national team.
“A united group, towards a single objective: to realize the dream of all Portuguese people!”
Jamie Carragher speaking to Sky Sports News:
“I just thought the comments were bizarre. They were out of place given the moment: on the backs of delighted Manchester United fans after scoring a winner at Fulham with the final kick of the game.
“That should give them some excitement over the next month for the league to restart. They should have fun and then the Ronaldo interview will come out and boom – it’s all about negativity. Not the team, not the manager – it’s about Cristiano Ronaldo. And it’s been like that since he came back, it’s basically the Cristiano Ronaldo show.
“Sometimes it’s been good on the pitch, last season he scored a lot of goals. But this season he’s not involved and he’s hungry for the attention he can’t get because he’s not in the field. The only way he’s going to do that is by causing trouble and that was exactly his intention with the interview.
“He wants to be sacked, that’s obvious. He told the club in the summer that he wanted to leave, which is football – those things happen. There were no takers, maybe because of his salary or price Manchester United wanted. I think he knows it will be the same in this next transfer window and maybe next summer and he is now trying to be sacked or wants to go on a free. is the only way out.
“And I think United should either fire him or move him by offering him a free transfer. At the moment they are trying to build something that is not trying to win the Premier League or the Champions League at the moment. The manager will want to push for those honors in the next two or three years and Ronaldo won’t be there.
“He’s going to be a distraction, it won’t go away. As soon as a player comes out and says he doesn’t respect the manager, how is that going to work when he enters the first day of post-World Cup season? That can’t work in the future – there will be people taking pictures, we’ll be asking the manager about Ronaldo in interviews for Sky. United don’t need to be. bother.”