Cristiano Ronaldo and Ralf Rangnick.
Cristiano Ronaldo told Man United chiefs that he would leave the club if Ralf Rangnick had remained as manager on a permanent basis, according to ESPN.
A season that will remembered for multiple leaks coming from within the Old Trafford dressing room has ended in exactly that fashion, with long-reads on the dismal situation arriving thick and fast since the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Man United leaks.
That defeat brought the curtain down on United’s worst ever Premier League season and already The Athletic and the Manchester Evening News have published pieces outlining the extent of the toxic atmosphere at the club.
Among the accusations in the aforemetioned articles are that substitutes were seen laughing during one particular poor performance, and some players received no instructions when brought on during a defeat to Manchester City.
Mark Ogden of ESPN has now added some more revelations, including one that states Ronaldo had set his stall out with the club as early as January, when it came to the future of the interim boss.
Ralf Rangnick ultimatum.
‘By January, sources told ESPN that Ronaldo had made it clear to the club that he would not stay at United if Rangnick was given the job on a permanent basis,’ it is stated.
Elsewhere, it is pointed out that Rangnick felt the wrath of Phil Jones after he substituted the England international at half-time during the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in April.
It was only Jones’ second league start of the season and a source reportedly said: “Rangnick left Phil Jones completely exposed at Anfield. He had basically ignored him for three months and then threw him in at the deep end. Harry Maguire had a bad night at Anfield, but Rangnick made the easy decision to substitute Jones at half-time because he didn’t have the bottle to take Maguire off.”
On a day in which incoming manager Erik ten Hag spoke about his plans for the future of the club, it’s clear that the memories of this season will be hard to shake for some of the key figures at Old Trafford.
When asked during his opening press conference about his feelings on Rangnick’s planned role as a consultant, Ten Hag simply said “that is on the club.”
Rangnick’s insights are sure to be put to good use over the coming days and weeks as the Ten Hag settles into his new role, but given the disrespect towards him from some players, it seems possible that he will be waving goodbye to Man United sooner than he thought.