Rio Ferdinand says Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United “love affair” is over after the forward’s interview with Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo has said he feels “betrayed” by United and admitted he does not have “respect” for head coach Erik ten Hag.
The full 90-minute interview will be released later this week, but former United players and fans alike have been responding to the soundbites released by TalkTV amid reports United are exploring all options.
United went on to release an official statement on Monday, claiming they will look at the “full facts” before taking possible action, and Ronaldo’s former team-mate Ferdinand believes there is “no way back” for the Portugal captain at Old Trafford.
“I’m quite clear with this situation. It’s over. That love affair with Manchester United is finished. The book has been closed,” the BT Sport pundit said, speaking on Vibe with Five.
“He’s snookered the club and put them into a position where there’s no way back. Whether anyone at the club wanted to keep Ronaldo, they can’t now after what he’s said.
“If that interview was two minutes long and not an hour or two, and he said that comment there, that ‘I don’t respect the manager’, regardless of everything else he’s said that is going to be the reason why he goes.”
Ferdinand added: “You can’t sit here and defend that from Cristiano Ronaldo because, deep down, and I know for a fact, this has all been manufactured for one thing and that’s for him to leave the club.
“I don’t feel like the club will take him back and I don’t think that he wants to come back, that’s a given, and I think this is all manufactured for that reason, that he wants to get out of this place.”
Ronaldo questioned the direction United have gone since Sir Alex Ferguson retired back in 2013.
“I don’t know what’s going on. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left I have not seen evolution in the club. The progress was zero,” said Ronaldo, who along with Ferdinand won the Champions League at United in 2008.
Ronaldo thrived under Ferguson during his first spell at United, although Ferdinand did point out that the former manager did have a ruthless streak when it came to taking action against dissenting players.
Ferdinand added: “I’ve played with players. [Ruud] van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane, David Beckham, and before I was there, Jaap Stam.
“All the players, the manager booted out of the football club because he said they thought they were players that were bigger than the club at the time – for different reasons.
“All of them reasons, by the way, were nothing like we’ve seen today.
“The point I keep going back to: us, everyone in media, the fans, knew this moment was coming.”