Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo was at the core of the captaincy dispute with Harry Maguire last season, BBC Sport’s Simon Stone reveals.
The Red Devils had a dismal 2021/22 campaign as they finished sixth in the Premier League while failing to win any form of silverware.
Amid the poor showing, there were suggestions of a rift within the squad with criticism particularly laid on Maguire’s leadership qualities.
It is now reported that Ronaldo led the dispute over Maguire’s captaincy credentials which left the England international ‘unhappy’.
Maguire has been the permanent captain since the departure of Ashley Young in January 2020. However, his average displays over the past year have led to serious questions over his ability to lead the team.
During his first press conference as United manager, Erik ten Hag refused to rule out the possibility of a captaincy change, and there is now a genuine possibility that Maguire will relinquish his position.
It was recently reported that there is ‘no revolt‘ against Maguire for his captaincy, but Stones’ update suggests otherwise. Meanwhile, Ronaldo would be a natural successor for the role despite his age.
The £27 million-rated star has led the Portuguese national team on more than 100 occasions. However, there is also the possibility that David de Gea could be handed the duties out of huge respect for his contributions.
Ten Hag is likely to urge the squad to choose their next permanent captain which was not the case with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, who decided to place an unconditional trust in Maguire.
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