Manchester United are reportedly standing firm on their no-sell stance on Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. Yet, according to John Barnes, the club would be making a big mistake if they retained the Portuguese sensation, whose presence only encourages ‘disharmony’.
37-year-old agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly raised the possibility of the disgruntled striker moving on this summer with talks like Bayern Munich and Chelsea. But while Ronaldo is said to be growing increasingly frustrated with United’s transfer inactivity this summer, according to ESPNthe club refuses that the player’s troubles lead to an exit from Old Trafford.
Furor over Ronaldo’s future is not what United need right now as the dawn of the Erik ten Hag era began with a stutter on the transfer front. But while United have taken a hardline approach to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, in the eyes of former Liverpool legend Barnes, the Red Devils are just heading for another year of ‘disunity and discord’ , as this is the case. The disturbing impact of Ronaldo.
“He (Ronaldo) causes disunity and discord,” Barnes said of Ronaldo at the Mirror back in May. “When the ball doesn’t come towards him, he throws his hands up…that’s a great example, isn’t it?
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“Harmony at Manchester United is a problem and who is causing this lack of harmony? He (Ronaldo) walks around like… ‘it’s the others, I’m doing my job’. That’s not what a leader – that’s what someone who does it for himself.
“The fans love him and when things don’t go his way he’s like… ‘it’s not my fault’. That’s not what a team is. So we know that Ronaldo is doing well, but would you rather nobody scored 20 goals a season and United finished higher?
“I think they would be higher if they had a better TEAM. If the harmony is better, Ronaldo won’t score the goals but the team would be a better team and win games.
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But while Barnes thinks United would be better off without Ronaldo’s “selfish” presence, the 20-time English champions clearly have a different view. Amid renewed talk of a second exit from Old Trafford, the Red Devils appear determined to ensure the famous striker completes the second half of the two-year contract he signed last summer.
While United obviously see Ronaldo as a key part of Ten Hag’s revolution for next season, Barnes says the club may be making a mistake in insisting he won’t be sold this summer. Amid a fresh whirlwind of transfer speculation, perhaps United should consider cutting losses, not sentimentality alongside their disharmonious hero.