Cristiano Ronaldo was reportedly against Antonio Conte becoming Man United manager
Ronaldo was reportedly against Conte taking over at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo was against Manchester United appointing Antonio Conte as the club's manager last October, according to reports.
Man United were linked with a move for the Italian before they sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Red Devils, however, opted against the appointment and Conte took over at Tottenham Hotspur instead.
The club's hierarchy reportedly consulted Ronaldo about Solskjaer's position after the team's season began to unravel. The former Real Madrid forward is also said to have made his feelings known about Conte potentially arriving at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo 'vetoed' Antonio Conte's appointment.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Portugal captain 'vetoed' the appointment last October after his reservations about the Italian coach were relayed to the United board.
Following Man United's 5-0 loss to Liverpool in October, Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes reportedly 'sought reassurances' from United's hierarchy that the club would sack Solskjar. Mendes is said to have recommended the Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui to take over. While links with a move for free-agent Zinedine Zidane were reportedly 'baseless' and merely a ploy to 'appease an increasingly concerned Ronaldo.'
Luckily for Ronaldo, the Red Devils' hierarchy had reservations of their own about appointing the Italian.
The club were understood to have been unsure about the 52-year-old due to his tendency to have short stays in jobs. Conte spent two years in each of his previous roles - with the Italian national team, Chelsea and Inter Milan respectively. However, he also won league titles with Chelsea, Inter and Juventus.
Conte was keen on becoming Man United manager but had his own reservations regarding the structure of the club and propensity for 'marketing' signings.
United limped on with Solskjaer until a 4-1 defeat to Watford on November 20 finally sealed his fate. They then made Michael Carrick caretaker manager after sacking Solskjaer. Ralf Rangnick was installed as the interim manager ahead of a permanent appointment in the summer, expected to be Erik ten Hag.
Interestingly, it has been reported that Man United's hierarchy have not consulted the club's players about Ten Hag, with most of the squad said to favour Mauricio Pochettino to be the next manager.
“Ten Hag shouldn't listen to Man United's empty promises... The Dutchman just needs to look at their record in the transfer market."
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 12, 2022
Man United miss out on Conte.
Spurs appointed Conte and the club are on course to qualify for the Champions League ahead of the Red Devils. Man United's loss has been Tottenham's gain.
In the 21 Premier League games since the Italian was appointed, the north London side are third in the form table, with only Manchester City and Liverpool picking up more points in that time. Spurs have won 13 of their 21 games under Conte, picking up 42 points from 21 games.
Man United, meanwhile, have collected 34 points from those 21 games, and sit sixth in the form table from the period. Tottenham have scored 47 goals, and conceded 21, in those 21 games, with a goal difference of 26. Man United have scored 30 goals and conceded 27, with a goal difference of just three.
In addition to the upturn in the team's fortunes, Conte has also rejuvenated the form of individual players. Harry Kane is currently playing some of the best football of his career after looking listless in the first few months of the season. Son Heung-min has scored six goals in his last three games, while Matt Doherty was on an excellent run of form before he suffered a knee injury when his season was cruelly ended by Matty Cash in Saturday's 4-0 win over Aston Villa.
Man United, meanwhile, will finish the season without a trophy and are unlikely to qualify for the Champions League.