Manchester United great Gary Neville is “a little bit disappointed” with Cristiano Ronaldo and the ongoing saga surrounding his future.
Ronaldo is widely reported to be seeking an exit from Old Trafford before the close of the transfer window on September 1, due to his desire to continue playing in the Champions League.
That has put new United boss Erik ten Hag in a difficult position, with Friday’s news conference ahead of their Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion dominated by questions on the future of his number seven.
Neville said earlier this week United should allow Ronaldo to leave and has now followed up those comments by urging the 37-year-old to come out publicly to make his feelings clear.
“I’m a little bit disappointed in him,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “He’s letting the manager go into those press conferences…
“Cristiano now is at a good age, he’s been the best player in the world along with [Lionel] Messi in the last 10 years, he’s got all that experience in the world.
“Would it be too much to ask for him to come out and do an interview to clear things up, tell us what he’s actually thinking and what is actually happening? Would that be too much to ask?
3 – Cristiano Ronaldo became the third player to score for three different Man Utd managers (Solskjaer, Carrick, Rangnick) in a single season after James Hanson and Joe Spence both did so in 1926-27 (Chapman, Hilditch, Bamlett). Prolific. pic.twitter.com/uNzpuYbApL
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 2, 2022
“Is he just not going to do an interview in the next few weeks? Obviously, we’re going to ask for him, is he going to come out, stand up, do the interview and not let everybody else have to answer the questions for him?
“I think that would be something that would be a start. I am disappointed, because it’s the clarity that we haven’t got, and the reason Erik ten Hag has been a little bit jumpy in his press conference is because he’s been asked difficult questions, and he’s probably not even telling us the truth of it, because he can’t.
“The reality of it is if a Champions League clubs comes in for Cristiano Ronaldo in the next two weeks, I think we know that he wants to take that move, it’s emerged over the last few weeks. But at the moment, no one has come in for him.
“That’s why the club is saying at this moment in time that they want him to stay, but I think if somebody came in, he would go.
“Should Manchester United be waiting until the final two weeks of the transfer window to see as to whether the star centre-forward leaves? I don’t think they should be in that position. Do they just say no, you’re staying, come what may? That would be clarity.
“But then there’s a big risk that Ronaldo in a few weeks’ time throws his toys out of the pram, says he’s leaving. It’s the sort of thing that could happen, and that’s why I think it’s a little bit unpalatable.”