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Ronaldo banished from first-team squad after walk out

Demoted from even practicing with senior side...

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

There is no doubt who is in charge at Manchester United, and it isn't Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has axed striker Cristiano Ronaldo from the squad to face Chelsea on Saturday as punishment for his early exit during the win over Tottenham Hotspur.

A club statement issued on Thursday read:

“Cristiano will not be part of the Manchester United squad for this Saturday’s game against Chelsea. The rest of the squad is fully focused on preparing for that fixture.”

Ronaldo left his seat on the bench to walk down the tunnel before the full-time whistle against Tottenham, despite Ten Hag having two more substitutions available.

Sources have told ESPN the striker also left the stadium and was not in the dressing room when Ten Hag and the players returned. United have declined to comment on reports he refused to come on when Ten Hag brought on Christian Eriksen and Anthony Elanga in the 87th minute.

Ronaldo reported to United’s Carrington training ground at around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

He held talks with Ten Hag before the Dutchman decided to drop him from his squad to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

It is the second time Ronaldo has been reprimanded by Ten Hag for leaving a game early.

The United boss branded his behaviour “unacceptable” after he was pictured leaving Old Trafford before the end of a preseason friendly against Rayo Vallecano in July. Ronaldo started the game but was substituted at half-time.