Manchester United say they have “initiated appropriate measures” following Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments in a controversial interview.
The club decided to wait for Ronaldo’s interview to air in its entirety before reacting. Ronaldo recently sat down with Piers Morgan and the final part of the interview was released in the UK on Thursday.
During the 90-minute interview, Ronaldo criticized Man United manager Erik ten Hag, his teammates and the club’s owners.
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“Manchester United has initiated the appropriate measures this morning in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview,” the club said on Friday. “We will not comment further until this process reaches its conclusion.”
37-year-old Ronaldo traveled to Qatar as he prepares to take part in his fifth World Cup with Portugal. After the World Cup, the forward will not return to Old Trafford.
Even before the full interview surfaced, many considered Ronaldo’s position with the club unacceptable.
The salary demands were previously believed to have posed potential roadblocks as they involved moving the footballer. But if Ronaldo is found to have breached his contract, it could create a path to canceling his deal.
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United officials claim Ronaldo interviewed Morgan and was waiting for it to appear on TalkTV before deciding the club’s legal status.
United manager Ten Haag and Ronaldo have had a somewhat tense relationship since the end of last season.
Ten Hag forced Ronaldo out of the squad to train after the forward refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.
“I don’t think he’s respected [me] The way I deserve,” Ronaldo said. “But it is what it is. Maybe that’s why I left the match with Tottenham. … This is why I say, I have no respect for him, because he has no respect for me.”
Ronaldo did not move to a Champions League club during the offseason, meaning he could leave in the January transfer window.
“If I come back, I will be the same Cristiano. But I hope people will be on my side and let me shine like I have done at all clubs and every year,” he said.
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Portugal open their World Cup campaign against Ghana on November 24.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.