JAAP STAM says Manchester United have to get rid of Cristiano Ronaldo “for the greater good”.
At the start of the summer, the Red Devils were adamant they wanted to keep their 37-year-old Portuguese superstar.
But with new boss Erik ten Hag now tired of the saga and Ronaldo an unhappy, brooding presence at Carrington, Stam believes it is time to act.
The Old Trafford legend said: “Everybody knows Ronaldo and what he’s been doing for United last season and in the past, so everybody is looking up to him.
“But if a player’s not happy and wants to leave, then you need to make a decision for the greater good and say, ‘OK, maybe it’s better we part ways’ and look for somebody else.
“So if he’s in the dressing room and he really wants to leave and he’s not himself, or he’s sitting there by himself or he’s not in a good mood, then it has an impact on the players, for sure.”
Stam believes the issue should have been sorted out at the end of last season.
SunSport revealed in January that Ronaldo’s advisors had made it known to the club’s hierarchy that if United did not qualify for the Champions League, their client would want out.
United finished sixth in the Premier League and qualified for Uefa’s second-tier competition, the Europa League.
Speaking to Safe Betting Sites UK, Stam added: “He already knew last season he wasn’t going to be playing Champions League with United, so I assume Ten Hag had a conversation with him before he started.
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“I don’t know if Ronaldo addressed it at this point, otherwise I’m thinking they could’ve made a decision earlier, before the season.
“I can understand that a manager wants to keep a player like this, because he’s of great value for the club and the team.
“If he’s not happy, if he’s not performing, then sometimes it’s maybe better to make a different decision — not only for yourself but the team.”