Roy Keane has blasted Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag over his treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The United legend responded to Ten Hag’s justification for not playing Ronaldo, even as a substitute when his side were down four goals.
After the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City, the Dutchman told Sky Sports “I didn’t bring him on out of respect for his big career.”
“And the other thing, there was then the advantage I could bring Antony Martial on. He needs the minutes, but I don’t want to point it out like that.”
That didn’t wash with Keane, who insisted that Ten Hag has already made up his mind over the Portugal star and lacks respect in doing so:
“The big picture is that he is not going to play Ronaldo. It is just going to get uglier as the season goes on.
“United have shown nothing but disrespect to Ronaldo.”
For Keane, last season’s top scorer should have been allowed to leave the club over the summer
“The manager held on to him. Ok, he said he wanted options. But you don’t hold on to Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He is one of the greatest players ever.”
From the outside looking in, the fact that no top European clubs made a serious offer for Ronaldo somewhat undermines Keane’s point, however according to the Sky Sports pundit that point of view is nonsense.
“He had options. This idea he didn’t have options is rubbish. He had four or five good options.”
Whether or not any of those options were willing to pay Ronaldo’s mammoth salary, or adamant that United pay his wages for the privilege of letting him play for someone else is unknown.
It is notable that several top European clubs distanced themselves from making a move for Ronaldo over the summer, from Bayern Munich’s executives to Atletico Madrid’s fans and even Sporting Lisbon’s manager.