EPL

Ronaldo and Man United separation 'like a divorce' – Keane

By Sports Desk November 23, 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo's exit from Manchester United is like a divorce, according to former captain Roy Keane.

United announced on Tuesday that they had reached a mutual agreement with Ronaldo to terminate his contract with immediate effect, in the aftermath of a seismic interview conducted prior to the World Cup.

Ronaldo did not hold back with his array of criticisms, including ones directed towards manager Erik ten Hag, and it became apparent he was on borrowed time at Old Trafford.

A departure has now been confirmed, with Keane believing the outcome is one that suits all parties.

"I think it has been on the cards for the last few months. Obviously, the interview was the tipping point," he told ITV Sport.

"Life goes on. United are a great club, Ronaldo is a great player. It's like a divorce, the end of a relationship, we all know how that feels. Life goes on and you go your separate ways.

"He should have probably left in the summer. The new manager was never going to play him, you can't have Ronaldo as a sub or a fringe player, it's just not right. It's sad but these things happen.

"I don't think it's been great management, it's been a difficult situation, I don't feel the manager comes out well. Part of management is looking after top players, you have to treat world-class players differently.

"The manager was never going to play him, the system with the high press, Ronaldo was never going to do that, he didn't come back to do that, he came back because he's a great player who is going to score goals.

"Everyone knew he wasn't going to play, so they should have let him go in the summer before it gets messy.

"I think it's better for everyone. It's better for the club, obviously you don't want that dragging on going into the second half of the season. Ronaldo has obviously run out of patience, I think it's really straight forward.

"Is his reputation tarnished? United fans aren't daft, he will go down as one of the greatest ever players, it's not ended well, but that's life."

The big news surrounding United did not end with the Ronaldo announcement, as the club then confirmed the Glazer family would consider a sale – which comes after years of protests from the fans.

Keane welcomed the news, adding: "It's good news for United fans. In the last few years, the fans have wanted the owners out, so I'm pleased for the fans."

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    ROUND-UP

    Cristiano Ronaldo is close to agreeing to a deal with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, according to Marca. The Telegraph had reported that the deal was worth £150million per season, although The Sun has claimed that the ex-Manchester United star still wants to play Champions League football and has not accepted the offer.

    Gareth Bale's LAFC contract has a break clause that could see him leave the club prior to the new MLS season in February 2023, according to The Sun. The Mirror claims the Welshman will make a decision on his future by February.

    – The Mirror claims that Manchester United are bullish about retaining Marcus Rashford's services, with the striker out of contract at the end of this season. United will exercise an option to extend his deal by another 12 months in January.

    Manchester United have made Bayer Leverkusen defender Jeremie Frimpong their top transfer target in January, reports the Daily Mail. United have sent scouts to watch the Dutch defender, with a view to ramping up talks after the World Cup.

    – Inter expect €30m for Tottenham-target Denzel Dumfries, according to Tuttosport. The Nerazzurri are willing to sell the Dutch right-back in January.

    – The Times reports Brighton and Hove Albion's Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour could join Spanish club Villarreal in January.

  • Ronaldo future of no concern to Portugal squad amid Al Nassr rumours – Andre Silva Ronaldo future of no concern to Portugal squad amid Al Nassr rumours – Andre Silva

    Cristiano Ronaldo's future is of no concern to the Portugal squad amid reports of a mammoth deal being offered to the 37-year-old, according to team-mate Andre Silva.

    Portugal's World Cup campaign has endured the sideshow of Ronaldo's next destination following the mutual termination of his contract with Manchester United, leaving him a free agent for the tournament.

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    Silva was the latest to find himself front and centre for the barrage of questions and offered a blunt response, suggesting the significance of Ronaldo's situation was far from influential.

    "Does the market end tomorrow? Oh, just checking," the striker said. "Those questions concern nobody apart from Ronaldo. It does not affect the group at all.

    "And in Ronaldo's case, he is a very experienced player and knows very well how to deal with these kinds of situations. The group is not affected at all."

    While Ronaldo's second stint with United ended with an unceremonious exit, Silva made it clear that his worth on the international stage remains as high as ever.

    "Regarding Ronaldo, Cristiano is our captain. He is a very, if not the most important figure in Portuguese football," he added.

    "And of course, it's very important to be on our side and it makes the group stronger too."

    Portugal have already booked their spot in the knockout stage of the World Cup, while a point in their final group match against South Korea on Friday will secure top spot in Group H.

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