Manchester United says they have “initiated appropriate steps” following Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments in a controversial interview.
The club decided to wait until after Ronaldo’s interview was broadcasted in its entirely before responding. Ronaldo recently sat down with Piers Morgan, and the final portion of the interview was made public Thursday in the U.K.
During the 90-minute discussion, Ronaldo criticized Man United manager Erik ten Hag, his teammates and club’s owners.
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“Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview,” the club said Friday. “We will not be making further comment until this process reaches its conclusion.”
Ronaldo, 37, traveled to Qatar as he prepares to participate in his fifth World Cup with Portugal. Once the World Cup ends, the forward may not be returning to Old Trafford stadium.
Many considered Ronaldo’s position with the club to be untenable even before the full interview surfaced.
Salary demands have previously been believed to have created potential roadblocks as it relates to moving the footballer. But if Ronaldo is found to be in breach of his contract, that could create a pathway to a cancelation of his deal.
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United officials claim they had no idea Ronaldo interviewed with Morgan and waited until it appeared on TalkTV before the club’s legal position could be determined.
United’s manager Ten Hag and Ronaldo have had a rather turbulent relationship since the end of last season.
Ten Hag perviously forced Ronaldo to train away from the team after the forward refused to enter a match as a substitute against Tottenham.
“I think he don’t respect [me] the way I should deserve,” Ronaldo said. “But it is what it is. That is probably why the game against Tottenham, I left. … This is why I say I don’t have respect for him, because he don’t show respect for me.”
Ronaldo did not go to a Champions League club during the offseason, which means he could leave in the January transfer window.
“If I will be back, I will be the same Cristiano. But I hope people will be on my side and let me shine like I did at all the clubs and all years,” he said.
Portugal will start its World Cup campaign against Ghana on Nov. 24.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.