Ralf Rangnick ‘wanted to sell Cristiano Ronaldo in January’

Former Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is said to have tried to convince the club to part ways with Cristiano Ronaldo during the January transfer window.

Rangnick took temporary charge of the Red Devils in late November 2021 and enjoyed four wins and a draw from his first month in charge, with Ronaldo scoring four goals and assisting another over those five matches.

While all initially appeared to be well, The Athletic note that things behind the scenes at United were growing uneasy and Rangnick quickly became concerned over Ronaldo’s suitability to lead his attack.

By the end of January, it is claimed that Rangnick advised those in charge at United that they should look to move Ronaldo on. The boss was not convinced that the Portugal international had what it took to make a positive impact in a ‘modern, elite side’ and felt his limitations would become more problematic over time.

His advice was swiftly ignored by United’s board, who felt Ronaldo’s individual goalscoring record was too impressive to give up. Ronaldo had eight goals to his name by the end of 2021 and would add a further ten before the end of the season.

The decision-makers also argued that there would not be sufficient interest in Ronaldo during a winter transfer window and informed Rangnick that the superstar striker would be going nowhere.

Tensions began to grow between Ronaldo and Rangnick, who made the bold decision of dropping the striker for the derby against Manchester City in March. After learning of his omission, Ronaldo reported a hip injury and returned to Portugal while his teammates travelled to the Etihad.

Rangnick’s departure at the end of the season did not improve Ronaldo’s morale and the striker eventually asked to leave the club this summer in search of the Champions League football that United could not provide.

Interest in the 37-year-old has been slim, however, although 90min understands that agent Jorge Mendes is still exploring all possible options to find an exit route for Ronaldo.

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