Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract at Manchester United should be terminated by the club, said former United captain Gary Neville.
In an explosive interview with TalkTV, Ronaldo has said he does not respect United manager Erik ten Hag and claimed he is being forced out of Old Trafford.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a peripheral figure on the field for United since Ten Hag took charge as manager in May.
Ronaldo was disciplined after refusing to come on as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last month.
But his latest act has gone even further as he also criticised the club’s owners, the Glazer family, claiming they “don’t care” about the sporting success of the club.
“l don’t think he wants a way back,” Neville told Sky Sports. “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.”
Ronaldo has just over six months left on his contract after rejoining United from Juventus in August 2021.
The Portuguese won three Premier League titles and the Champions League during his first stint at Old Trafford.
His homecoming has turned sour.
United failed to qualify for the Champions League after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, despite Ronaldo’s 24 goals in all competitions.
“I’m wondering what Man Utd 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,” added Neville.
“I agree with some of the things Cristiano has said, and many Man Utd 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 Man Utd have to do that in the next few days.
A statement from United, released on Monday, said the club would “consider its response after the full facts have been established”.
However, a banner of Ronaldo has already been removed from the facade of Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old is due to appear in his fifth World Cup in Qatar.
But Portugal boss Fernando Santos confirmed he will miss Thursday’s friendly against Nigeria due to illness.