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Manchester United players want Cristiano Ronaldo gone

The Sun's report states majority of players unhappy with Ronaldo's transfer antics

by Ayantan Chowdhury

With Manchester United losing their opening game against Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday, alarm bells have started ringing and all sorts of negative stories have been doing the rounds.

It started with reports of United panicking in the transfer market and name after name emerged in different media outlets. Some turned out to be genuine like Adrien Rabiot while fan backlash led to Marko Arnautovic’s name being slashed from list of targets.

Sun claims rift in dressing room

And now controversial journalist Neil Custis of The Sun has come out with a report which states that a majority of United’s players want Cristiano Ronaldo gone from the club.

A United source told the publication, “It is really starting to annoy a lot of players now. He does have his allies in the camp but a lot are fed up with how he is going about things.”

Ronaldo had made headlines when he publicly declared his intention to leave Old Trafford for a club in the Champions League. Despite his agent Jorge Mendes’ best attempts, no elite club has come forward with an offer.

Apparently, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had a gentleman’s agreement with the club which stated that if qualification to the Champions League was not achieved, he would be free to leave.

The Portuguese also did not attend United’s pre-season tour because of family reasons. And that has meant he is yet to attain full match-fitness and managed only one half of action against Rayo Vallecano in pre-season.

Despite the multitude of issues, the Red Devils have insisted that the Portugal international is not for sale. Clubs like Chelsea, Atletico Madrid were credited with interest but nothing concrete emerged in the end.

No CR7 resolution

Erik ten Hag did not start United’s No 7 in the loss to Brighton despite Anthony Martial‘s injury and he was only substituted into the game on the 53rd minute mark. It did not have the desired effect in the end as United ended up on the losing side.

The 20-time English champions remain short of options up front with only Martial and Ronaldo capable of playing up top on their own. Marcus Rashford has not convinced when played on his own while the Dutch boss tried Christian Eriksen as the false nine but the experiment did not work.

That has led to the Reds being linked with names like Arnautovic, Cody Gakpo, Alvaro Morata in the last few days. It remains to be seen whether any attacker is recruited before the summer transfer window shuts.

The Sun‘s report should be taken with a pinch of salt due to their propensity for sensational claims. Talks of a dressing room rift were rampant last season but it is unlikely to rear its head so soon in the season.

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