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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Colin Millar

Roy Keane reveals Cristiano Ronaldo had five Man Utd transfer exit options this summer

Roy Keane has blasted Manchester United for “disrespecting” Cristiano Ronaldo for not allowing him to leave the club this summer with “five transfer options” on the table.

The Portuguese superstar, 37, wanted to depart the Red Devils this summer after just one season back at United following his high-profile return from Juventus last year, but this ambition was not realised as he remained at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo was left "upset" at seeing his pay slashed at Man United after each member of the squad was hit with a 25 per cent cut to their weekly wage due to the club's failure to qualify for the Champions League. Yet he was unable to secure an exit, with no club willing to meet his wage demands and guarantee him regular football.

Ronaldo, who isn't currently getting regular football at United, had been looking ahead at the January transfer window, but Red Devils football director John Murtough poured cold water on the idea that there will be first-team movements in or out of the club this winter, suggesting the forward won't be going anywhere.

The striker watched on from the substitute’s bench during Manchester City’s 6-3 derby demolition of United on Sunday – the fifth successive league match in which Ronaldo was excluded from the starting line-up. Marcus Rashford led the line at the start, replaced by Anthony Martial – who scored twice late on.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Keane explained: “United are showing disrespect to Ronaldo. I think he should have been let go this summer during the transfer window. I don’t think the manager should have held onto him just for him to sit on the bench. He is one of the greatest players ever and he had options to leave this summer. The idea that he had no options is rubbish. He had four or five very good options.

Have Your Say! Should Man Utd allow Ronaldo to leave the club this January ? Tell us what you think here.

Cristiano Ronaldo still wants to leave Man United despite being denied a summer exit (PA)

“Ok, Anthony Martial comes off the bench and scores twice so you can justify it but this pattern could turn ugly. He will be motivated with the World Cup coming up but if he is always sitting on the bench, it is not good.”

The former United captain added: “United have shown nothing but disrespect to Ronaldo and they should have let him go when the opportunity came. I know for a fact he had options to go, and holding on for him to sit on the bench is ridiculous for a player of his stature.

“If you look at his goals record, he had as good a chance as anyone as putting the ball in the net. People are obsessed with the pressing side of the game but if you put the ball in the right areas, he will score goals.”

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