Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly called for Harry Maguire to be demoted to the bench, also labelling the United captain as ‘part of the problem’ at the Old Trafford club. These reports come from The Athletic and could be very damaging to any possible working relationship between the duo.
The 37-year-old returned to United a year ago and it has not gone according to plan. United started to slip up last season, after the arrival of the Portuguese forward and it was clear that he was not happy with what he saw in the squad.
United lacked leadership and direction and it was a completely different team to the one that he left in the summer of 2009. United ended up scraping sixth place in the Premier League, missing out on UEFA Champions League football for the fourth time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
It seems that details have emerged following the period that United faltered – February which seems to reveal some of Ronaldo’s demands from the club. The sensational reports from The Athletic suggest that Ronaldo made suggestions regarding line-ups etc.
The 37-year-old even suggested who the best player to link him up with up front was. It was also suggested that the likes of Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane approached Ralf Rangnick, who was the clubs interim manager at the time, to discuss issues that had arisen.
It is suggested that United captain Maguire was not present at any of these meetings and it was then that Ronaldo called for the former Leicester City defender to be demoted to the bench. Ronaldo reportedly though that the England centre-back was part of the problem at the club.
It has been said that Rangnick thought that the comments were inappropriate without Maguire being present at the meeting, which sounds fair but does not discount anything regarding their concerns. It just seems that the air around the club was very toxic last season.
Ronaldo had been expected to leave the Old Trafford club this summer but with no offers made to United for the forward, according to rumour, it would be right to think that the 37-year-old will remain at he club this season and there is an option for a third year to be added.
Maguire on the other hand has been benched for the last two matches with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez working well as a central defensive partnership, so Ronaldo may have got his wish this season with Maguire being benched. When he does play, he will have to meet the required level.
Written by John Walker