REVEALED: Cristiano Ronaldo ‘called for captain Harry Maguire to be DEMOTED and said he was “part of the problem”‘ at Man United – but was slapped down for being ‘inappropriate’ by Ralf Rangnick
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United has so far not gone as planned
- Information has emerged over clashes with Ralf Rangnick last season
- Portuguese star wanted Harry Maguire dropped for his poor performances
- Ronaldo also wanted to play in a two-striker formation with Edinson Cavani
Cristiano Ronaldo ‘called for Manchester United captain Harry Maguire to be dropped’ last season as the dressing room turned toxic and results dipped.
Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford has not gone to plan and tensions frayed last season as the club limped to a sixth-place finish.
And details have emerged surrounding the Portuguese striker’s demands, from team selection to formation tweaks.
Cristiano Ronaldo called Harry Maguire (left) part of the problem and wanted him dropped
Ralf Rangnick told the players who confronted him that their conversation was ‘inappropriate’
According to the Athletic, Ronaldo was part of a group of players who went up to Rangnick at Carrington in February this year.
Among them were Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba but Ronaldo’s message came through clearly when he said: ‘Maguire is part of the problem’.
A few players from the group subsequently apologised to the interim boss, who departed the club in the summer.
Rangnick is said to have told the players including Ronaldo that it was ‘inappropriate’ to speak about Maguire when the player himself was not present.
Ronaldo also had a view on the team’s formation and during the impromptu meeting told the manager in no uncertain terms how he wanted them to set up.
Ronaldo and Maguire have both been dropped to the bench for United’s last two games
Paul Pogba (left) and Raphael Varane (right) were part of the group to approach Rangnick
The 37-year-old wanted to play alongside Edinson Cavani up front but his pleas fell of deaf ears.
The report helps shed light on the summer of discontent at Old Trafford – which has largely been overshadowed by Ronaldo pushing to leave.
It now seems inevitable that the forward will remain at the club given the lack of interested parties who can afford his wages.
The best performance of United’s season so far came against Liverpool in their 2-1 win at home when Ronaldo was dropped to the bench and they backed it up by beating Southampton away from home, again with Ronaldo among the substitutes.
Ronaldo’s body language has been called into question, particularly in the Brentford defeat
Ironically, Maguire, who Ronaldo called to be dropped, has also been out of the team during their recent upturn in fortunes.
Erik ten Hag is attempting to put his stamp on the United squad but risks Ronaldo’s influence in the squad being corrosive if he continues to be benched.
Rio Ferdinand recently opined on his own Vibe with Five podcast: ‘Whether he stays or not, none of us know. But knowing Cristiano [Ronaldo], I know for a fact that he will be absolutely fuming right now.
‘Forget who’s starting in front of him, [that] he’s not starting. You don’t get to do what he’s done in his career over this amazing amount of time at the levels he’s been playing by being someone who’s going to accept not starting and being a sub for a team that isn’t in the Champions League.
‘Whatever anyone says about running, pressing etc., he will be sitting there going “I scored 24 goals last season. The hardest thing to do in football is putting the ball in the back of the net and I did it 24 times last year.”‘
Ronaldo came off the bench against Southampton and his presence looms large in the squad