Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has become the first current Red Devils star to make his feelings clear on the Cristiano Ronaldo interview and revealed the effect it has had on everyone associated with the club.
The Portuguese superstar has, in no shadow of a doubt, now played his last game for the club. His damning TV appearance with Piers Morgan has well and trult lit the blue-touch paper with his feelings on Eric ten Hag, the Glazers and United as a whole made perfectly clear.
As a result, it seems Ronaldo and United are destined for a very public divorce. However, finding a new club for the legendary star will be easier said than done. Indeed, a string of big-name sides have quickly distanced themselves from his possible signature.
That said, a trusted Sky Sports reporter has made clear the one club who may yet offer him an escape route. And her words back up a recent TEAMtalk exclusive that revealed how the club in question are now warming to his possible arrival.
Wherever he ends up, his departure will leave United with a pretty significant hole to fill. He was their 24-goal top scorer last season as the club laboured home in sixth place in the Premier League.
Under Ten Hag, Ronaldo has been used that bit more sparingly. And the three goals he has scored do not, for once, place him top of their goalscoring charts.
That said, bringing in a replacement is now very much on the club’s agenda as thoughts turn to the January window.
A number of players are reportedly on their list of potential successors, though none as glamorous as Kylian Mbappe.
Raphael Varane angry at Cristiano Ronaldo for interview
For those players still at United, however, there remains a question over his interview has affected them.
Television cameras caught the frosty reception Bruno Fernandes gave Ronaldo when hooking up for Portugal training this week.
And while Fernandes has been one of United’s most outspoken stars in recent times, he has kept his feelings to himself for now.
The same can be said for Victor Lindelof, who was asked for his opinion on Ronaldo’s interview. However, the Swede also opted to dodge the questions.
But one man who has broken rank and revealed how angry the interview has made him, is Varane.
The no-nonsense France defender knows Ronaldo well having also played alongside him at Real Madrid.
And it’s fair to say he has not taken Ronaldo’s interview with Morgan too well as he revealed how it has angered him.
“Obviously it affects us,” Varane told French radio station Europe1. “We follow what is happening and what is being said. We try to ease the situation in our own way, we try not to get too involved in it.”
Varane continued: “What is happening at the media level in the big clubs is gaining a lot of momentum. When it is a star like Cristiano Ronaldo, even more, so we try to respond to that with distancing. That is to say that we are not trying to change the situation alone, we are part of a collective.”
Joel Glazer will have final say on player
When questioned about the interview earlier this week, Lindelof had opted to stay neutral by keeping a dignified silence.
“I do not know. I will not answer that question. You get to take the next question,” he said.
And when asked if United had told their players to keep quiet, Lindelof snapped back: “It’s my decision.”
As it stands, United’s decision-makers are currently reportedly locked in talks over what decision to make on Ronaldo.
Among the outcomes being discussed is the prospect of tearing up Ronaldo’s contract at United once and for all. He is their top earner on a reported £500,000 a week. As such, any decision will need to be carefully picked over with a fine toothcomb.
Ultimately, any final decision though will stand with executive co-chairman Joel Glazer.
Per The Guardian, He is currently deciding on the best course of action, amid claims Ronaldo will never play for United again.
The article claims Glazer is also suportive of Ten Hag’s handling of the entire saga. That includes the way the Dutchman dropped Ronaldo from first-team duties following his tantrum at failing to appear as a substitute against Tottenham.
The Portuguese star was later recalled to first-team duty and handed the captain’s armband for the defeat at Aston Villa. And while Ten Hag later labelled Ronaldo one of United’s six leaders, it seems the 3-1 loss at Villa Park will mark his final outing for the club.