Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on as substitute for Manchester United against Spurs before storming down tunnel

Ronaldo has hit headlines after walking down the tunnel in the 89th minute of the Red Devils’ impressive win over Spurs.

Cristiano Ronaldo will not be part of Manchester United’s squad for Saturday’s game at Chelsea.

The Portugal forward left Old Trafford before the end of Wednesday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Tottenham – for which he was an unused substitute.

“The rest of the squad is fully focused on preparing for that fixture,” a club statement said.

United say the 37-year-old remains an important part of the squad but regard this as a disciplinary matter.

The game he will miss at Stamford Bridge is a big one, with United just one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Several media outlets are reporting he refused to come on as a late sub against Spurs.

Ronaldo left the bench and walked down the tunnel in the 89th minute, even though United had only made three of their permitted five substitutions. He briefly went into the dressing room before leaving the stadium.

Manager Erik ten Hag said afterwards that he would “deal with” the issue on Thursday.

Ronaldo had also showed his displeasure at being substituted during Sunday’s 0-0 home draw with Newcastle.

Former England striker Gary Lineker said Ronaldo’s behaviour took attention away from United’s impressive performance against Spurs.

“That is unacceptable – it is so poor,” Lineker said on BBC Match of the Day.

Ex-Wales captain Ashley Williams said: “It was a great night for Manchester United and here we are again talking about Cristiano Ronaldo – even though he didn’t play.”

Former England defender Micah Richards said: “For one of the greats of the game to do that when your team are winning, making it about him, is disappointing.”

Richards said Ronaldo’s behaviour was “disrespectful” and he should be allowed to leave in the January transfer window.

“His manager had problems with him at the start of the season, during pre-season, and to then carry this on… I just think there is only one way this needs to go now,” Richards told BBC Radio 4.

“They need to come to an agreement in January and they need to let him go. He is undermining the manager there, so I think it’s best if they just part ways.”

Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said Ronaldo would have been aware such behaviour would create “headlines”.

“It’s the first time I can say that I am disappointed with him. Normally I back him; I understand his situation,” Schmeichel told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“We are in transition. Manchester United are now five managers down the road since Alex Ferguson.

“We have got Erik ten Hag in now who has very clear ideas about the way he wants to play football. We need understanding and time from everyone.

“We don’t need distractions like that, and that’s a disappointment, I would say.”

This is despite manager Erik ten Hag still being able to make two substitutions.

Ten Hag had told Ronaldo to go on following Anthony Elanga’s introduction in the 87th minute, but the Portuguese declined.

Instead, he headed for the tunnel and to the dressing room with the pair’s relationship in tatters.

Cristiano Ronaldo drove into the Carrington training ground on October 20 for showdown talks with Ten Hag.

The Portuguese wants out of Old Trafford and the Manchester United boss is happy to let him leave.

Issues over a departure stem from the finances involved in luring Ronaldo from United in January.

He may have to wait until next summer to secure a move away, which is when his current contract with the Red Devils expires.

There is an option for a one-year extension but that seems highly unlikely to be taken up.

Cristiano Ronaldo made a blockbuster return to United in 2021 from Juventus for £15.3 million.

He bagged 24 goals in 38 appearances last season but has struggled for both goals and game time this campaign under Ten Hag.

The Portuguese has started just two of eight league appearances and has netted just two goals in 12 games across competitions.

Manchester United need to cut ties with Cristiano Ronaldo

Whether it be in January or next summer, it is clear that Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United’s relationship needs to end.

There is no doubt that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will go down as a United great.

However, his actions against Spurs have risked not only his relationship with the club’s fans but also his legacy at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo started his meteoric rise to the top of world football at Manchester United during his first spell at the club.

He won the UEFA Champions League, three Premier League titles and his first Ballon d’Or during his first stint with the Red Devils.

His second spell with United is likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons as he has seemed frustrated throughout.

Many will argue that the Red Devils should have parted ways with the Portuguese forward in the summer.

However, there was never any concrete interest in his services from a club that Ronaldo would desire to join.

Ten Hag’s stance certainly seems to be that his side will be better off without Cristiano Ronaldo.

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