Gary Neville has called on his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to "stand up now and speak" as speculation continues over his Old Trafford future. Earlier in the summer, Ronaldo informed the club that he wanted to leave, but he has not explained his position to supporters in the weeks that have followed.
After United's humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Brentford on Saturday, the legendary forward appeared to further jeopardise his relationship with the United faithful, refusing to applaud the travelling fans at full time.
Despite his apparent desire to leave, Ronaldo has blasted the media for "telling lies" about him this summer and vowed to set the record straight "in a couple of weeks".
What has Neville said about Ronaldo's desire to leave?
However, Neville sees no reason for Ronaldo to wait until then, and has urged the 37-year-old to show some leadership in a message to his followers on social media.
"Why does the greatest player of all time (in my opinion) have to wait two weeks to tell Manchester United fans the truth? Stand up now and speak," he wrote on Twitter.
"The club is in crisis and it needs leaders to lead. He’s the only one who can grab this situation by the scruff of the neck!"
Why does the greatest player of all time (in my opinion) have to wait two weeks to tell Manchester United fans the truth? Stand up now and speak. The club is in crisis and it needs leaders to lead. He’s the only one who can grab this situation by the scruff of the neck!— Gary Neville (@GNev2) August 17, 2022
Could Ronaldo still leave United this summer?
Initially, United had been insistent on Ronaldo seeing out the remainder of his current deal, which expires at the end of the season.
However, GOAL understands that Erik ten Hag has been so alarmed by the club's terrible start to the campaign, he is willing to sanction the Portugal international's departure. United have been considering a number of replacements for Ronaldo, including Cody Gakpo, Matheus Cunha and Hakim Ziyech, as well as long-term target Antony.
It could be difficult to find the £500,000-per-week man a new club, though. Chelsea have already turned down the chance to sign Ronaldo, while Atletico Madrid fans have passionately protested against the prospective signing of the former Real Madrid favourite.