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    The axe factor

    Cristiano Ronaldo was brutally axed in front of the whole Manchester United squad during a two-hour summit meeting.

    Boss Erik ten Hag called the players together last Thursday and urged them to air any grievances without the threat of repercussions.

    During the clear-the-air session Ten Hag told Ronaldo and captain Harry Maguire they would not be starting against Liverpool on Monday.

    Ronaldo, 37, did not speak but a number of players had their say, while the manager laid down the law to his under-performers.

    They then beat Liverpool 2-1.

    Ten Hag is sick of the Ronaldo circus that threatens to undermine his rebuilding job.

    He was particularly angry last week after the Portuguese superstar promised he would soon deliver a tell-all interview.

    Now Ten Hag just wants the forward out, while a number of players feel Ronaldo’s attitude and mood is affecting spirit in the camp.

    The United boss told his players it is his way or the highway in the no-nonsense address to the squad.

    The boss invited everyone to have their say at the training ground last week as he tried to get to the bottom of why they had performed so poorly in the opening two games.

    In a two-hour showdown, Ten Hag gave every player the opportunity to say whatever they wanted about the state of the club.
    But he insisted on going first.

    The Dutchman told the players that he had the full backing of the United board to do everything his way.

    If anyone did not like it or did not want to play for him, they were invited to tell him there and then – and they were free to leave the club.


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