Man Utd a better team without Cristiano Ronaldo, claims Gary Neville

Gary Neville believes it’s time for Manchester United to ‘end their relationship’ with Cristiano Ronaldo after he was axed from the squad for Saturday’s game against Chelsea.

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The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was left at home after he refused to enter the field of play as a late substitute against Tottenham in midweek.

A host of his former teammates, including the likes of Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand, have refused to outright condemn the 37-year-old’s act of defiance, but Neville insists Erik ten Hag was left with no option but to take a hardline stance.

Neville felt the Dutchman would be comfortable with his decision, regardless of the result at Stamford Bridge, given his side’s best performances this term have come without last season’s top goalscorer in the side.

‘It has been a big week for Erik ten Hag,’ Neville told Sky Sports prior to kick-off at Stamford Bridge. ‘All the scrutiny on him and his relationship with Ronaldo but I have to say I don’t think he was left with any other option.

‘That’s the second time Cristiano Ronaldo has left Old Trafford in his car before his teammates have got into the dressing room and I have to say from the point of view of a football dressing room and that’s unacceptable.

‘When you look at whether Cristiano Ronaldo should be selected which is obviously Cristiano Ronaldo’s main problem at this moment in time, he’s not playing.

‘As great a player as he’s been, Manchester United are a better team without him and Erik ten Hag knows that.’

On how United should deal with Ronaldo going forward, Neville added: ‘The only thing the club and Cristiano can do is get together in the next week or so is end the relationship.

‘I think Cristiano is too good a player, too fantastic a character and the club have got to move on.’

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