I am not sure if Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United this summer, says Manchester United team-mate Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes has admitted he does not know whether his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United this summer.

The former Real Madrid player wants to leave the club this summer after their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

In April, he and his partner Georgina Rodriguez announced that one of the twins they were expecting had died.

Ronaldo, 37, was given permission to miss the tour of Thailand and Australia because of the issue.

New manager Erik ten Hag has since hinted at Ronaldo extending his stay at the club, though Fernandes has revealed the rest of the squad are still somewhat in the dark.



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Fernandes, 27, said. “Obviously we have to respect the decision of everyone,” he said. “I don’t know what Cristiano said to the club, to the manager, I don’t know what’s going on in his, but we have to respect his space.

He added: “From everything we know, he had some family problems, so we have to respect his space, give him some space and that’s it.

“Cristiano was our top scorer last season, he added goals to us, but obviously it’s not on me, it’s the club that has to make the choices and Cristiano makes his own choice.

“As I said, I don’t know what’s going on in his head, if he wants to leave, it’s all about news. I didn’t ask them that.

“The only thing I asked Cristiano, when he didn’t turn up, was if everything was OK with the family, he told me what was going on, that’s it and nothing more.”

Chelsea were initially interested in exploring a deal for Ronaldo following the arrival of new owner Todd Boehly, but eventually decided against the move.

Stringent rules have been enforced at the team hotel. The players have been told to wear their suits for travel and they eat together three times a day. Alcohol has been removed from the mini bars in the players’ rooms.

Ten Hag is a stickler for punctuality too. Tardiness is worthy of punishment in his eyes. Fernandes is cut from the same cloth as Ten Hag.

He demands the best and does not mince his words either so it came as no surprise that the Portuguese playmaker praised Ten Hag’s methods and admitted that United’s standards slipped last season.

“I think we missed that [discipline] for a while,” Fernandes said. “Discipline is important. Discipline is not only the way you play on the pitch, the position that you have, what you have to do, it’s also off the pitch.

“Don’t be late for meetings, don’t be late for meals, I think that’s really important because if everyone is on time and someone comes late, he should be punished and I think that’s really good that he [Ten Hag] is doing that. I like to be on time, so I won’t have any problem with that.”

Team and individual meetings with the manager have been commonplace on this 2½-week tour, which culminates in a friendly against Aston Villa in Perth on Saturday.

The purpose is clear. The players must absorb the style of play that Ten Hag desires. In reality, it is not much different to the one favoured by his predecessor Ralf Rangnick — high pressing, quick transitions and lightning-fast attacks”, he continued.

During coaching sessions at Ajax, Ten Hag would occasionally shout “I like good football” to any player caught lumping the ball long.

The difference between Rangnick and Ten Hag is that the latter clearly has the respect of the players. Rangnick lost control of some players, although some of them have now left the club. Ten Hag has made it clear that anyone who does not follow his instructions will be dropped.

“Obviously he [Ten Hag] demands a lot and that’s good because we concentrate a lot now,” Fernandes said. “We know that if we don’t do what he wants, you’re out of the team, you don’t play, so I think that’s a good thing.

“It’s been easy because he’s really clear what he wants. Everyone knows that even if you don’t score goals or don’t assist, if you do what he asks you to do, he’ll be okay with that.”

Some felt that Fernandes’s standards dipped last season. Although Fernandes bluntly pointed out that “no-one performed at the level they should have last season,” he took umbrage at the claim that he gave the ball away too much in the final third.

“I don’t understand that type of question about me keeping the ball,” Fernandes said. “I keep the ball when I think I have to keep it, I try a pass when I think I have to do it and sometimes it goes well, sometimes wrong.

“When you play in the No 10 position you have only a few seconds to think, control the ball and make the pass, so it’s not that much time to think.

“I understand of course that someone has his own opinion, but when I arrived in 2020 I was losing the same amount of balls in those six months and then the year after I lost the same amount of balls, but I scored 28 goals, so people don’t complain about that”.

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