Manchester United and Erik ten Hag have begun working on a scenario where Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer part of the squad.
The Portugal international is expected to face the consequences following his recent controversial interview with Piers Morgan and everything indicates that he could depart the club in January.
The Manchester United coach will be relieved to see Ronaldo leave the Red Devils. He has tried to find him a place in the team, but it has not been possible this season and the two parties are expected to head in different directions.
In addition, the team’s performances seem to improve when Ronaldo is not on the pitch, with young prodigies such as Alejandro Garnacho having stood out.
As for Ronaldo, he has scored only one goal in the Premier League and two in the Europa League.
Meanwhile, his potential departure would see the club get rid of his high salary. This means that Ten Hag could have the opportunity to further strengthen the squad in January.
Manchester United’s new leaders
In Unai Emery‘s debut in the Aston Villa dugout, Ronaldo was included in the starting line-up, being named captain.
However, Villa defeated the Red Devils 3-1 on home soil and Ten Hag named some of his team’s leaders after the game, explaining who would normally have been captain instead of the Portuguese.
“We have more leaders, but Harry [Maguire] is on the bench, Bruno [Fernandes] is suspended, you take the player who has the leadership,” the Dutchman said.
“The goalie [David de Gea] is often far away from the situations, especially in the opponent’s half and we want to play in the opponents half. Casemiro is not speaking full English language yet.”
Varane as the fifth leader
As reported by Manchester Evening News, Raphael Varane is also considered a key member of the team when he is fully fit.
The Red Devils can do without Ronaldo‘s goals and it seems as though finding leaders won’t be an issue either should he depart.