Liverpool legend says lot of Manchester United players 'went backwards' because of Ronaldo 'presence'

Liverpool legend John Barnes has stated that Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford suffered a dip in their performances due to Al-Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo‘s presence at Manchester United last year.

Ronaldo, 37, had his Manchester United contract terminated by mutual agreement in November last year. The Red Devils arrived at the decision after the striker’s contentious interview, where he attacked both the club and manager Erik ten Hag, with British broadcaster Piers Morgan.

After the end of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner sealed a free transfer to Al-Nassr. Penning a deal until June 2025 at the Mrsool Park, he is set to earn a whopping €200 million a year.

Speaking to Bonus Code Bets, Barnes backed Sancho to rediscover his form and claimed that Ronaldo had an adverse effect on his Manchester United teammates during the first half of the season. He said:

“You have Sancho who is still yet to come back. I would like to see Sancho given an opportunity to revive his career at Manchester United. I think Ronaldo had a very negative effect on the players whilst he was there. Just his presence. A lot of the players went backwards because of him and the influence he had.”

Sharing his thoughts on Sancho and Rashford, Barnes continued:

“I’m glad Rashford and Sancho will now be given an opportunity to show what they can do. When you go to a club and don’t start well, it’s really tough. Especially at £80 million. Sancho has a lot of potential so hopefully he can be reintroduced to the team soon.”

Hoping for the Old Trafford faithful to back Sancho, Barnes added:

“Hopefully the fans will give him their support because Sancho has a lot of potential. The difference with Rashford is that he played well for a couple of years at the club. He’s a local boy. So, even when he had a bit of a dip, he had that support from the fans. He had the luxury of the fans giving him a second chance.”

Manchester United to implement ‘Cristiano Ronaldo rule’ to limit salaries: Reports

According to Daily Mail, Manchester United have introduced a ‘Cristiano Ronaldo rule’, which is set to cap player wages at £ 200,000 per week.

The Red Devils have arrived at the latest decision to help Erik ten Hag build a harmonious and unified squad at the club. The former Ajax boss, along with chief executive Richard Arnold, jointly took the decision to introduce the salary cap on their international superstars.

David de Gea is expected to be the first player to be impacted by the new rule, as the goalkeeper is on a £375,000-per-week contract. Raphael Varane, Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire and Casemiro are in the £180,000 to £200,000-per-week bracket and the club is aiming to not breach that level.

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