Cristiano Ronaldo should be shown the door at Manchester United, according to the star’s former club-mate Gary Neville.
Speculation has been rife over Ronaldo’s future in recent months, with the 37-year-old reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford in search of Champions League football.
He played just 45 minutes in United’s pre-season, starting in the 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano last weekend. He was taken off at half-time and left the ground before the end of the match, which manager Erik ten Hag described as “unacceptable”.
Former Ajax boss Ten Hag has previously stated that Ronaldo is part of his plans heading into his first campaign as United manager, but Neville – who believed the former Real Madrid and Juventus striker would transform his old club into Premier League title contenders when he again joined last year – feels the time is right to cut ties.
On Sky Sports’ The Overlap, he said: “Ronaldo will go down as one of the greatest players of all time and what happens at Manchester United this summer will be forgotten in 20 years, but as a former captain and senior Manchester United player, it’s disgusting and impossible to see star player in the locker room to play.
“You can’t let your star player run the business.
“I know the fans want Ronaldo to stay, but if he wants to leave, Manchester United should make it easier.”
Meanwhile, Neville’s fellow pundit Jamie Carragher said he thinks this type of situation is inevitable.
The former Liverpool defender said: “I always felt this situation would happen, even if Ronaldo had a great year, he signed a two-year contract with an option for another year, which I couldn’t believe because he would never play. second fiddle to anyone.
“Ronaldo is 38 this season, he’s a great scorer, but he’s not the same player.
“No other club in Europe wants him and I’m not sure The Hag want him and I’m not entirely sure the dressing room wants him now.
Ronaldo scored 18 league goals last season, but those strikes were not enough for United to finish higher than the sixth-lowest ever Premier League points tally (58).
United open their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.