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Ronaldo’s career at Man United seems over, but who will replace him? | Football news

MANCHESTER: Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive TV interview with Pier Morgan looks certain to end his Manchester United career.
It’s hard to see a way back for the 37-year-old striker, who said he disrespects the manager Eric ten Hag and feels ‘betrayed’ by the club.
The question now is whether Ronaldo can arrange a transfer in January after not leaving for a while Champions League club before the start of the season.
United were already planning for a life without him before excerpts from his interview began circulating on Sunday evening, but that process is likely to be accelerated following his latest public display of dissent.

Ten Hag has already had to disqualify him for leaving a pre-season friendly – and was cut from his squad last month when he refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur.
Ronaldo later showed an element of remorse on social media and had candid conversations with Ten Hag before being welcomed back.
But these new comments threaten to strike a final blow in terms of the Portugal World Cup striker’s relationship with his manager.
“I have no respect for him because he shows no respect for me,” Ronaldo told the Piers Morgan Uncensored TV show.
“If you don’t respect me, I’ll never respect you.”
Ronaldo also claims that there was an attempt to push him out of the club.
That comes despite the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s own wish to leave earlier in the year.
Ten Hag was reluctant to let him go in pre-season, not least because of a lack of viable replacements within his squad or on the market. And that problem will persist into January, when United’s search for a new striker is further complicated by typically high prices during the mid-season transfer window.
United’s recruiting team would rather do their business at the end of the season – and Ten Hag was willing to make Ronaldo part of his plans for the rest of the season, even after the incident against Tottenham.
The feeling at United on Sunday night was that Ronaldo’s actions should not detract from the positivity generated by Alejandro Garnacho’s late winner in the 2-1 win over Fulham.
But the opposite is true – and the former Real Madrid and Juventus striker’s off-field behavior has all too often been an unwanted distraction during Ten Hag’s four months in charge.
The timing of the interview also means it hangs over the club as the Premier League pauses for the World Cup.
Morgan has declined to confirm when it was performed, only adding to the impression that it was a premeditated and staged attempt to get maximum impact.
“The club will consider its response after the full facts are established,” United said on Monday.
“Our focus remains on preparing for the second half of the season and continuing the momentum, belief and togetherness that is being built between the players, manager, staff and fans.”
That statement itself suggests that the club’s hierarchy was surprised.
The interview could also be interpreted as a message to potential suitors – and Ronaldo will have to hope more come forward than in pre-season.
His famed salary of around £500,000 a week ($587,000) excludes most clubs in Europe.
If Ronaldo’s desire is still to play in the Champions League, then the number of possible clubs continues to shrink, with that competition now down to the last 16.
Another problem is his unconvincing form this season – with just three goals in 18 appearances.
A good World Cup could increase interest in the experienced striker.
In terms of a replacement, the picture for United is hardly clearer than during the last window.
Red Bull Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko was a serious consideration, but he signed a pre-contract with RB Leipzig, while Darwin Nunez was another target before joining Liverpool.
The pool of potential attackers was so small that United even explored the possibility of signing an experienced Bologna striker Marko Arnautovicwhich sparked a furious response from fans.
Elite clubs agree there are few up and coming players with the profile of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
That was underscored by Bayern Munich and Barcelona, ​​who both signed strikers in their 30s as they pursued top scorers earlier this year.
Bayern signed 30-year-old Sadio Mane after selling 34-year-old Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Karim Benzema continues to lead Real Madrid’s attack.
Ten Hag hopes Anthony Martial can overcome the fitness issues that have disrupted his United career and is trying to help Marcus Rashford become a prolific goalscorer.
He may have to rely on that pair at least until the end of the season, with Ronaldo’s comments certainly announcing a bitter end to his time at Old Trafford.

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