Manchester United say they are "considering their response" to an explosive Cristiano Ronaldo interview that has created headlines around the world.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner says he has felt "betrayed" by Manchester United after finding himself as a peripheral figure on the field since Erik ten Hag took over as manager in May.
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Ronaldo was disciplined after refusing to come on as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last month, but had returned to the side in recent weeks and even captained the Red Devils in a 3-1 loss at Aston Villa.
However, the 37-year-old was absent from the squad in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Fulham in United's last match before a six-week break for the World Cup.
"I don't have respect for him because he doesn't show respect for me," Ronaldo said of Ten Hag in an interview on Sunday with the Piers Morgan Uncensored TV show.
"Not only the coach, but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed."
When quizzed again if senior club executives were trying to oust him, Ronaldo replied: "Yes, I felt betrayed and I felt like some people don't want me here, not only this year but last year too."
Responding to the storm of controversy that the interview has created, Manchester United released a club statement on Monday to say that it would investigate all the facts before coming to any decision on the player.
"Manchester United notes the media coverage regarding an interview by Cristiano Ronaldo. The club will consider its response after the full facts have been established," a club statement read.
"Our focus remains on preparing for the second half of the season and continuing the momentum, belief and togetherness being built among the players, manager, staff, and fans."
Ronaldo reportedly tried to engineer an exit before the start of this season, but no agreement could be found with another club.
"Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed," said Ronaldo on what he found on his return to United. "I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United.
"But you have some things inside that don't help (us) reach the top level as (Manchester) City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal... a club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not unfortunately."
'No way back' for Cristiano Ronaldo at United
The 37-year-old has come under a mountain of criticism over the interview, with Manchester United club legend Rio Ferdinand claiming there is "no way back" for the player, in terms of his future at the club.
“I’m quite clear with this situation for Cristiano Ronaldo: It’s over. That love affair with Man United is finished. Right now the book’s been closed," Ferdinand said on his ‘Five’ YouTube channel.
“I don’t see him playing again … I think Cristiano is well aware – if you undermine the manager, who is building the project, there can’t be a way back. So he’s snookered the club and put them into a position where there’s no way back.”
Ferdinand's sentiments have been echoed across the UK, with fellow football greats and writers agreeing that his future at Manchester United appears doomed.
TV pundit Richard Keys wrote in his blog: “You’re now destroying your legacy. Whinging, whining and refusing to play for your club does you no favours.
“The interview with Piers Morgan, that I’m reading about this morning is embarrassing.”
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports: “He wants to be sacked, I think that’s obvious. There were no takers, maybe because of his wages or the price Man Utd wanted.
“I think he knows that’s going to be the same in this next transfer window and he is now trying to be sacked or wants to leave on a free.”
Cristiano Ronaldo says club doubted his baby was sick
In a new clip of the Ronaldo interview released on Monday, the Portugal star claimed two senior members at United doubted his daughter, Bella, was sick with bronchitis just three months after her twin brother had died.
The forward missed United's pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia after being granted additional time off by Ten Hag.
"I spoke with the director and the president of Man Utd and they kind of didn't believe that something was going wrong, which made me feel bad," the Portugal captain said.
"They didn't believe that something was going wrong."
Cristiano Ronaldo has told Piers Morgan he felt doubted by his Manchester United bosses when he told them his newborn daughter was sick.@cristiano | @piersmorgan | @TalkTV | #PMU pic.twitter.com/Y2jDLFR62J
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) November 14, 2022
When pressed to confirm senior United figures did not believe he was telling the truth, Ronaldo added: "They believe me but in the same way [shakes head]…
"I am never going to change the health of my family for a football. Now, or 10 years behind or forward.
"And it is something that really hurt me because they doubted my word that I was struggling, especially Bella and Geo (Georgina Rodriguez, Ronaldo's partner).
"We had one week in hospital because Bella had a big problem and I didn't go to the pre-season because of that.
"I didn't want to leave my family to do the pre-season because I didn't think it was fair to leave my family for a pre-season. This is why I didn't go."
Ronaldo stated in an Instagram post on Monday that his full focus is on achieving World Cup glory with Portugal, who face Ghana on November 25 (AEDT) in their Group H opener.
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