Coach ‘to take care of’ Ronaldo after early exit (VIDEO)

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag appears on collision course with star striker

Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag could be facing a major clash after the Dutchman announced he would « treat with » the Portuguese football icon for leaving early in the team’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

After what was considered one of their best performances of the season, United moved within a point of the Premier League top four by beating third-placed Spurs at Old Trafford.

Goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes decided the scoreline, but Ronaldo didn’t wait for the final whistle after watching the entire game from the substitutes’ bench.

The 37-year-old was filmed running down the Old Trafford tunnel in the 89th minute while refusing to shake hands with fans.

Athletic claim that Ronaldo not only left the pitch prematurely, but also left the ground before the 90 minutes were up.

In his post-match interview, Ten Hag was asked if Ronaldo spoke to him before leaving.

“He was there, I saw him. But I didn’t speak to him. replied the Dutchman.

« I don’t pay attention to that, I’ll take care of it tomorrow » Ten Hag responded when prompted on the subject. « I want to stay focused on the team. »

Ronaldo’s early exit is the second since Erik ten Hag took over in the summer.

After a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano where Ronaldo was knocked out at half-time and was filmed outside Old Trafford returning home before the end of the game, Ten Hag said he did not have « to turn a blind eye to » Ronaldo’s conduct which has been “unacceptable, for everyone.”

“We are a team and we have to stay until the end” Ten Hag added.

Ronaldo has come under fire for his repeat of the act this week, with a Sky Sports pundit claiming the five-time Ballon d’Or winner believes he is “Bigger than the team.”

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Man Utd boss slams Ronaldo’s ‘unacceptable’ behavior (VIDEO)

Ronaldo has been on the bench for big wins against Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs this season, and life without the veteran – whose contract expires next summer – already seems in sight at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag reportedly refused to sell Ronaldo this summer after submitting a transfer request and publicly insisting the club legend was part of his plans.

His consistent bench number ‘7’ indicated otherwise, however, and claims have been made that Ronaldo will be moved on in the January transfer window, with MLS’s Inter Miami touted as a possible next destination.

Ronaldo had a difficult week after finishing 20th in the battle for the Ballon d’Or for the best male footballer in the world, won by former Real Madrid player Karim Benzema.

The ranking was Ronaldo’s lowest since 2005, and he could be further embarrassed on Saturday when he is likely to be benched for an away trip to fourth-place Chelsea in the Premier League.

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