A bombshell new report has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo will consider walking out on Manchester United at the end of the season if their choice of manager does not suit him.
The Daily Star have claimed that Ronaldo, who only rejoined the Red Devils in the summer from Juventus, is keeping a close eye on who the club appoint as their next permanent manager at the end of the season.
Ronaldo’s deal at Old Trafford runs until 2023 but the report explains that Ronaldo would be willing to knock that on the head 12 months early if the next appointment cannot bring the best out of him.
United have shown limited improvement since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and German boss Ralf Rangnick came in to take charge on an interim basis.
The plan has always been for Rangnick to move behind the scenes at the end of the season and step into a ‘Senior Football Advisor’ role for the next two years.
Even with Rangnick not in contention for the job on a permanent basis Ronaldo is still reported to have made his feelings clear that he would not support any decision to appoint the German full-time.
A source told the Star that Ronaldo ‘thought it would be better than this’ and that as a ‘born winner’ he wants ‘to be winning more trophies’.
Rangnick will, more likely, be part of the process to appoint the next manager, a permanent successor to Solskjaer, who was axed in November following a loss to Watford.
Chief executive officer Richard Arnold, who will step up to replace Ed Woodward from February 1, will also be at the risk of annoying Ronaldo, who has 14 goals this season, if the decision is disputed.
Sportsmail reported on Thursday that United are working from a three-man shortlist of Mauricio Pochettino, currently at Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax manager Erik ten Hag and Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers.
Any new boss will likely need to find a way to maximise Ronaldo as he has so far failed to gel with Rangnick’s preferred 4-2-2-2 formation.
In fact, mood inside United’s dressing room has soured significantly in recent weeks, to the point where the Old Trafford side are facing a mass exodus of players if things don’t change.
Sportsmail reported this week that morale at the club is at a low point after interim boss Rangnick inherited a divided dressing-room from Solskjaer, with a staggering total of 17 players said to be unhappy.
Many of them – including several stars – are under contract and will not be allowed to leave, but there is still expected to be a significant number of departures over the next eight months.
Rangnick has become aware of the situation following a series of meeting with players to discuss their futures.
Anthony Martial will leave on loan this month while Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard have shown no inclination to renew their contracts which are due to run out at the end of June.
Edinson Cavani, who is another free agent come the summer, has been told he cannot leave in January while Donny van de Beek, Dean Henderson and Eric Bailly are all unhappy over a lack of playing time and are open to moves at the end of the season.