The Manchester United captain Harry Maguire may have been sacked last season after the team’s performance and changing room atmosphere deteriorated due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s criticisms.
The return of Ronaldo to Old Trafford has not gone as expected, and last season as the team struggled to a sixth-place finish, tensions grew.
Additionally, specifics of the Portuguese striker’s demands—including changes to the team’s formation—have come to light.
The Athletic claims that Ronaldo was one of several players that approached Rangnick at Carrington in February of this year. Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba were among them, but Ronaldo’s message was heard when he indicated that Maguire is a contributing factor to the issue.
The interim manager, who left the club in the summer, received an apology from a handful of the group’s members later.
According to reports, Rangnick informed the players, including Ronaldo, that it was “wrong” to discuss Maguire when the player was not there.
In the unplanned meeting, Ronaldo expressed his opinion about the team’s formation and gave the manager clear instructions on how he preferred the players to be arranged.
The 37-year-old pleaded with coaches to let him play alongside Edinson Cavani up forward, but they were unresponsive.
The story sheds clarity on the unrest that has been raging at Old Trafford over the previous few months, which has mostly been covered by Ronaldo’s attempts to depart.
Given the lack of interested parties who can afford his salary, it now appears inevitable that the forward will stay at the club.
The best performance of United’s season so far came against Liverpool in their 2-1 home victory when Ronaldo was benched, and they followed it up by defeating Southampton away from home, again with Ronaldo among the replacements.
Ironically, Maguire, whom Ronaldo urged to be benched, hasn’t been on the team during their recent upward trend.
To make his mark on the United team, Erik ten Hag runs the risk of weakening Ronaldo’s impact if he stays on the sidelines.