Roy Keane admits Cristiano Ronaldo stayed at Manchester United too long and his Piers Morgan interview was a ‘tipping point’… but claims Erik ten Hag SHOULD have treated the striker differently
Roy Keane insists Cristiano Ronaldo should have left Manchester United in the summer – and claims Erik ten Hag should have handled the situation differently.
It comes less than 24 hours after United sensationally announced that the Portuguese forward’s contract at the club had been terminated with immediate effect by mutual consent – a week after his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
Keane believes Ronaldo’s two-part interview with Morgan, which saw him criticise the club and the manager, was the ‘tipping point’ for his former team-mate.
Roy Keane insists Cristiano Ronaldo should have left Manchester United in the summer
Ronaldo has left United with immediate effect after his contract was mutually terminated with the club on Tuesday
‘It has been on cards for the last few months. The interview was the tipping point. It is like a divorce the end of a relationship,’ Keane told ITV.
‘He should have left in the summer, the new manager was never going to play him. You cannot have Ronaldo as a fringe player, it is just not right.’
Ronaldo’s interview with Morgan aired last week and it saw Ronaldo pull no punches, admitting that he had ‘no respect’ for Ten Hag as he felt the Dutchman did not respect him.
And Keane believes Ten Hag should have treated Ronaldo differently, given his stature in the game.
Keane believes Erik ten Hag should have treated Ronaldo differently at Manchester United
‘The Dutch are straight-talkers. Good thing for the club, him and the fans,’ Keane added. ‘Once the World Cup is finished they are back in the league and want to hit the ground running
‘You do have to the treat the top players differently. I don’t want to go down the road again about pressing, Ronaldo did not come back to the club to do that, he came back to score goals.
‘Let him go in the summer before it gets really messy. Ronaldo has run out of patience there. I think it is really straightforward, people say is his reputation at United tarnished. Far from it. United fans aren’t daft.
‘Ronaldo will go down as one of the greatest players. It has not ended well, but that’s life. I think he will be delighted to be among the Portuguese squad and show its qualities.’
Keane believes Ten Hag was never going to play Ronaldo after taking over as manager
In his tell-all interview, Ronaldo also labelled United a ‘marketing club’, accusing the Glazer family of caring more about off-field activities rather than what is happening on the pitch.
As exclusively revealed by Sportsmail, Ronaldo will receive no compensation, meaning he will not get the £16million he was due to earn if he’d seen out his contract.
Ronaldo’s exit was not the only major statement released on Tuesday night, as a matter of minutes after his contract was ripped up, the Glazer family confirmed they are open to selling the club.
They have owned the Red Devils since 2005, but their reign could be set to end in the not-too-distant future.
Keane (front) as been one of Ronaldo’s biggest supporters since he returned to Old Trafford
Meanwhile, Ronaldo is now a free agent and has been linked with a move to Chelsea, with Blues owner Todd Boehly reportedly keen on bringing the Portuguese star to Stamford Bridge.
His club future remains uncertain, but Ronaldo recently insisted he is ‘committed and focused’ on Portugal, with the striker aiming to lead his country to glory at his fifth World Cup.