Bruno Fernandes has moved to play down claims he has fallen out with Cristiano Ronaldo in the wake of the star’s no-holds-barred TV interview that is likely to lead to the latter’s sacking at Manchester United.
United are currently exploring their legal options over terminating Ronaldo’s contract after his uncomfortable interview with Piers Morgan. The veteran superstar tore strips off the club, with the Glazers, Eric ten Hag and the way the club is run all in the firing line.
As a result, he has very likely played his last game for the club with United looking at ways to call time on his spell. As a result of the fall-out, even the player’s biggest supporter has now turned his back on Ronaldo.
One man who is caught in a bit of an awkward situation is Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder has proved a rare big-money success for United in the transfer market, stamping his authority on the club and making a big impact on the side.
Often unafraid to speak his mind, Fernandes certainly has the same winning mentality that Ronaldo has used to his benefit through his career.
Indeed, the two men were seen having a frosty handshake exchange when linking up for Portuguese duty recently. Fernandes is always seen as a player who wants the best for Manchester United; therefore the Ronaldo interview is unlikely to have gone down well with the United No 8.
However, with Portugal’s World Cup kicking off on Thursday with a match against Ghana, the nation will need and hope their two biggest stars are not at odds with one-another.
Bruno Fernandes denies Ronaldo spat
In an interview with Sky Sports, though, Fernandes denies he has any problem with Ronaldo.
Speaking after a 4-0 warm-up win over Nigerian, Fernandes is adamant there are no issues. Furthermore, he explains the handshake thing was a bit of a joke.
“I have no problem with anyone. I do my job and as a manager once said to me, everything that you can control is yourself.
“And I think everyone thinks the same way, you have to control yourself, give your best and that’s it.”
Asked why he gave Ronaldo a frosty reception, Fernandes insists it has been taken out of context.
“Why do you say that? They put the sound [on] after. Did you hear it with the sound? You have to.
“In Portugal we have a problem, that I was watching one of the channels that was talking about that, ‘was cold, was bad’, for 45 minutes.
“All of a sudden they go to a break, the national team send it with sound.
“The sound says that he is joking with me and so they come back and said there was a joke and they cut there. They said, ‘if you want to see again just go back’, but if they go back they will see there’s a problem. But if they are really true and explain what was in that video people will know, but now people don’t know.
“This is the national team, Manchester United will be my focus after the World Cup.”
Asked about Ronaldo’s interview with Morgan, Fernandes issued another cool reply.
He said: “I didn’t read the interview so I’m okay with that.
“Now it’s the national team, it’s Portugal. Cristiano will play in his fifth World Cup so everyone is ready for that. Everyone wants to give their best for the team.”
Cristiano Ronaldo next club: Surprise MLS option opens up
Much of the focus has quickly turned to which club Ronaldo will play for next. However, a string of top sides have quickly played down claims they could sign the veteran star.
And while TEAMtalk’s exclusive – written before the Ronaldo interview was released – suggests Sporting Lisbon are the favourites, the Portuguese club have since played down the claims.
Now, though, according to the iPaper, a move to Major League Soccer looks to be on the cards.
The move is giving serious credence with a newly-signed £200m Apple TV deal. That will now reportedly arm MLS franchises with serious financial backing to pull off the signing.
And while Ronaldo would have to accept a pay cut on his current £500,000 a week deal, a move to the USA appears an option.
And that would leave two clubs as the favourites: Los Angeles Galaxy and Inter Miami.
The former are seen as the club’s most capable of attracting the big stars. Their Hollywood location has attracted several huge names over the years, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Steven Gerrard.
Inter Miami, co-owned by United legen David Beckham, are also reportedly in the running. Like LA, they too could offer Ronaldo the same glamorous lifetstyle.