Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been warned that Cristiano Ronaldo is going to give him big problems this season.
Ronaldo was talked about this summer after telling the Red Devils he wanted to leave.
His desire to play in the Champions League was a motivating factor, but Man United were reluctant to let him go.
The 37-year-old’s list of options has dwindled, with many top clubs across Europe ruling out a potential move.
He did not join United on their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, citing “family reasons”.
Ronaldo has returned for showdown talks with Ten Hag, but it appears no satisfactory resolution has been found.
He took part in Sunday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano, but left Old Trafford at half-time.
Ten Hag later called his behavior “unacceptable”.
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Ronaldo has been accused of going out of his way to use the new United manager’s problems.
Former Premier League striker Carlton Palmer said: “Ronaldo knows he’s been in the game long enough unless he has permission from the manager which he clearly doesn’t because Ten Hag came out and said what he has.
“He knows what he did. He pushes the limits, he doesn’t want to be there and has made up his mind about it.
“You cannot allow this to continue. He did not return for pre-season training. They say it’s for personal reasons, but I don’t agree with that. It’s not for personal reasons.
“They did that to soften the blow because they don’t want the fans to think he didn’t come back.
“He doesn’t know because he didn’t train with the players and didn’t do the necessary work on his own.
“I’m a huge Ronaldo fan, but you’re part of the team and you have to play by the rules.
“All the players are going to look and say ‘what are you going to do with him?’
“I know he scored 17 goals last season and he’s the ‘GOAT’, but there are rules and everyone else in the team has to follow those rules.
“He decided he wanted to leave, he’s in very muddy waters because there are few clubs that could afford him and they don’t want him.
“It looks like he’s going to be at Manchester United next season, and he’s not going to start. If he doesn’t start, it’s going to cause Ten Hag a huge problem in the dressing room with discipline and standards.
Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor echoed Palmer’s view and believes Ronaldo will create problems if he doesn’t play every game.
He told talkSPORT: “I think it will be a problem. Ronaldo will want to play every game, he won’t want to be knocked out.
“Ten Hag is going to have different options. Martial has been in fine form in pre-season, they will want to give time to Rashford and Sancho.
“They also have Elanga, which is available to play games. It’s just strange to me the whole situation.
“When I look at him and Ten Hag says ‘Ronaldo needs a lot of training, needs a lot of games and is not as fit as the other players’. What did he do in Portugal while the rest of the team is in Australia?
” What did he do ?
“Leaving the game early, where are they going? Go eat? It makes no sense to leave a game.
“In pre-season you will sometimes have a team in the first half and then a team in the second.
“If you played in that first half, you’ll be showered while the other players are getting ready to go out at halftime.
“In the second half, you will come out and watch your teammates. You will sit above the dugout and observe your teammates.
“Why are they rushing home? I’m sure Ten Hag is thinking ‘did they go home?’ What kind of free role did they have so they could go home.
The Premier League is back and talkSPORT has it covered, with games on Friday, Saturday and Monday, starting with Crystal Palace against Arsenal on August 5
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