Ralf Rangnick, a former Manchester United interim manager, is rumoured to have attempted to persuade the team to let Cristiano Ronaldo go during the January transfer window.
After taking over as interim manager of the Red Devils in late November 2021, Rangnick enjoyed four victories and a draw in his first month in charge. Ronaldo scored four goals and provided an assist in those five games.
While everything seemed to be going smoothly at first, The Athletic reports that things at United were actually becoming tense behind the scenes, and Rangnick quickly started to worry about Ronaldo’s suitability to be the attack’s leader.
According to reports, Rangnick advised United’s management to look into offloading Ronaldo by the end of January. Rangnick believed that the Portugal international’s limitations would worsen over time and was not convinced that he possessed what it took to contribute to a “modern, elite side.”
The board of United quickly disregarded his advice because they believed Ronaldo’s record of individual goalscoring was too impressive to give up on. By the end of 2021, Ronaldo had already scored eight goals, and he would score ten more before the season was over.
Rangnick was informed by the decision-makers that Ronaldo would not be moving and that there would not be enough interest in him during a winter transfer window.
Tensions between Ronaldo and Rangnick began to rise after the latter made the audacious decision to bench the striker in the March derby against Manchester City. Ronaldo reported a hip injury after discovering his omission and left for Portugal while his teammates travelled to the Etihad.
Ronaldo’s mood did not improve after Rangnick left at the end of the season, and he eventually requested to leave the team this summer to play Champions League football, which United could not offer.