Manchester United took the advice of forward Cristiano Ronaldo and chose not to hire the manager they really wanted earlier this season.
That's according to the Metro (opens in new tab), who claim that the Portuguese legend's agent Jorge Mendes put pressure on the Red Devils to sack former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he believed that the Norwegian was holding back his client.
Solksjaer was eventually sacked in November, however, when United were battered 4-1 away to Watford in one of their most embarrassing moments of a difficult campaign.
But while United apparently opened discussions with the then-unemployed Antonio Conte, incredibly, the report says that Ronaldo vetoed the decision, not believing the Italian to be the kind of coach who would get the best from him.
The Old Trafford outfit instead opted for gegenpress guru Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis, with the 63-year-old stepping into a consultancy role at the end of the season. The hire seems to have misfired, however, with United facing the prospect of finishing outside the top four while Conte – now at Tottenham – is poised to reach the promised land of Champions League football.
Ronaldo signed a two-year deal at the start of the season, rejoining the club that he departed in 2009 for a world-record transfer to Real Madrid. The 37-year-old has had mixed reviews since his second coming, however, scoring goals but forcing the team to play a different tactical style to accommodate him.
It seems likely that the five-time Ballon d'Or recipient will leave Manchester once more this summer, with United unable to offer their No.7 Champions League football.
More Manchester United stories
There are big rumours about a busy summer at Old Trafford: Ten Hag apparently wants to bring three Ajax stars with him to the Premier League, Youri Tielemans is a potential arrival in midfield and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is also on the radar.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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