RALF RANGNICK allegedly told Manchester United that they had to sell Cristiano Ronaldo back in January.
The Portuguese legend, 37, returned to Old Trafford last summer from Juventus and was the club’s top scorer with 24 goals.
However, it was a miserable campaign all-round for the club as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked as manager with Rangnick being named interim boss in November.
And the German, who left last month following Erik ten Hag’s arrival, wanted to get rid of the Portuguese forward back in January, according to The Athletic.
The publication claims: “On more than one occasion Rangnick proposed to football director John Murtough and chief executive officer Richard Arnold that Ronaldo be sold, and replaced, during the January transfer window.
“Rangnick felt that as Ronaldo’s time at United was uncertain beyond the end of the season, it made sense to act sooner rather than later to reconfigure the side’s attack.
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“Additionally, Rangnick believed Ronaldo did not represent United’s long-term success and that recruiting a player more suited to his high-pressing style might produce immediate dividends for the second half of the campaign. Murtough and Arnold resisted.”
Rangnick failed to lift United’s fortunes during his brief stint at the helm as the club finished a lowly-sixth and failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Now Ronaldo, who has been granted more time off in pre-season despite the rest of the squad returning to Carrington today, has shocked the football world by asking for a transfer himself.
He has sensationally told the club he wants to leave in order to play Champions League football.
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The forward is desperate to play Champions League football again in the latter stages of his career and has asked to go if a suitable offer is lodged.
United though are ready to play hardball and are unwilling to sanction a sale with the five-times Ballon d'Or winner still contracted to the club.
Although Ronaldo's representatives are already working on finding the superstar a transfer.
They have sounded out Chelsea and Bayern Munich about a possible switch while Napoli are also keen to offer a return to Italy.
Meanwhile former club Sporting Lisbon, as well as Porto, are weighing up whether they can provide an escape route back to his homeland.
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