Cristiano Ronaldo told Manchester United’s management that Harry Maguire should be “demoted” because of his poor performance over the past few seasons.
Reports of strife in the dressing room at Old Trafford regarding captaincy, management, and training surfaced frequently during the previous season.
One could argue that the Red Devils’ final placement in the Europa League was fitting after such a disappointing season.
According to reports, Ronaldo was the driving force behind the United complaints, and the striker went to the club blaming Maguire for the team’s failures.
According to the Athletic, the 37-year-old reportedly went up to Rangnick in February and said, “Maguire is part of the problem.”
Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, two of France’s biggest talents, were also there and eager to share their opinions with the momentary manager.
However, Rangnick was eager to handle the situation properly, and he informed them that it was “wrong” to talk about Maguire while he was not present or participated in the talks. Later, several of the cohorts apologized for the informal gathering.
Ronaldo was not afraid to voice his opinion on other issues, though, telling Rangnick that he preferred playing in a striking duo over a solo No. 9 role.
The Portugal international presented his preferred formation and disclosed that he wanted to start with Edinson Cavani, but his suggestions were ignored.
According to the article, despite Ronaldo’s desire to leave the club, Maguire has not lost his popularity among United’s players. While United defeated Southampton 1-0 last weekend, the former Leicester City defender was benched by Erik ten Hag for that game.
In addition, Ten Hag said that Maguire’s status as club captain does not guarantee him a spot in the starting lineup, particularly in light of the summer transfer of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax.
“I don’t believe being captain means you have to play all the time, particularly when you have Varane in your team,” the Dutchman added.
“There is competition, and we need that. Varane’s stature is immense. When the team needed him, he was there. His profile, stature, and what he won in the past show he can really contribute. We have so many games and we can see from game to game what we need. There are many options.”
There were rumors that Chelsea was interested in signing Maguire this summer, but as it became clear that United had no intention of selling, Chelsea shifted its focus to other players like Wesley Fofana.
It’s unclear whether the 29-year-old will return to the starting lineup for the Red Devils this week against Leicester and Arsenal, or if he will stay on the bench.