Few in the wider world of football can doubt Cristiano Ronaldo’s talents and the almost unbridled success he has had at both domestic club level and then international level with Portugal, but something has gone incredibly wrong during his second spell at Old Trafford with Manchester United and at least for fans of other club colours, he has really turned into a gift that keeps on giving in the 2022/23 Premier League campaign.
Having had issues over pre-season, further issues during the campaign itself when it came to a failure to acknowledge fans at full time and just marching down tunnels, things came to a head in mid October where he refused to come on as a substitute and although he was handed the captain’s armband for the league clash with Aston Villa, whatever has soured now seems to have gone past the point of return, especially given the content is his recent interview with Piers Morgan as per this NJ Betting source.
For fans who like a flutter, particularly during the lull in domestic football to accommodate the first ever winter World Cup out in Qatar, fans of all colours could be tempted into laying a bet or two on whether Ronaldo will even return to Manchester when his journey with Portugal is over. Avid punters will certainly be watching the various odds with bookies with interest as the 37 year old is already being linked with a few clubs on the assumption that he could buy his own contract out, or alternatively as Gary Neville has suggested, The Red Devil’s themselves could now just terminate his contract and bring a swift end to his remaining time with them. As a free agent, he would be clear to move anywhere and would not need to wait for the January transfer window to open.
You can certainly understand Neville’s point of view here as it is almost impossible not to agree. Neville himself, as well as former team mate Wayne Rooney featured in some petulant criticism. Ronaldo claimed he, nor anyone he knew had heard of Ralf Rangnick, he turned on the clubs owners, stated people (including Erik ten Hag who he has no respect for) were trying to force him out of the club and he even criticised younger members of the United first team squad and there is probably more to come as I type.
“He wouldn’t have done this interview if he wanted a way back. He knew it would bring the headlines it has and be the end of his Manchester United career. I’m wondering what Manchester United are doing because the reality of it is they know they have to terminate Cristiano’s contract or they basically open up a precedent so any player can criticise them in the future. I agree with some of the things Cristiano has said, and many Manchester United fans will agree with many things Cristiano has said, but the reality is if you’re an employee within a business and say those things your employment has to terminate, and Manchester United have to do that in the next few days.”
Unsurprisingly, clubs are reportedly interested despite this obvious baggage. It has been claimed that Newcastle United have held tentative talks over a potential move to St James’ Park with agent Jorge Mendes putting out feelers and speaking to them over a potential move last month. Bayern Munich, Napoli, Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea are also name checked in most reports now circulating about his potential future.
Whatever the future now holds, the Ronaldo brand and history is now damaged by his outbursts as whilst there are those fans who will undoubtedly agree with some of his anger, particularly in light of his form this year, more comes off as petulant and will just turn fans off – despite his fantastic first spell at United.
Having shown himself capable of this kind of disruption (even if he feels 100% justified) it will take a brave club to take a risk on him now – particularly as you would assume he would still want in the region of a whopping £500,000 weekly wage.
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