Man Utd introduce risky ‘Ronaldo rule’ that could spark unthinkable exit and see top transfer targets elude Ten Hag

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag and striker Cristiano Ronaldo Credit: Alamy
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag and striker Cristiano Ronaldo Credit: Alamy

Man Utd have introduced a drastic new measure dubbed the ‘Ronaldo rule’ in the hopes of fostering greater team harmony, though it could have multiple major drawbacks, per a report.

Erik ten Hag has wasted little time getting to grips with a club who had floundered in the post-Ferguson era. Aside from their on-field fortunes declining, the Red Devils had become something of a circus off it too.

Indeed, leaks out of the dressing room had become commonplace and the club’s transfer policy was often derided.

Ten Hag is behind United’s new sterner approach to player contracts. The Dutchman wants deals at Old Trafford to be harder to earn and feels huge pay packets have been handed out to underserving stars under previous managers.

Team morale has also noticeably improved since Ten Hag took charge. Ridding the club of its Ronaldo problem was a big step for the Dutchman, as was reprimanding in-form Marcus Rashford for lateness two weeks ago.

Both those instances showed Ten Hag has the gravitas to handle a club the size of United and won’t be overawed by the club’s biggest stars. However, the Daily Mail report another change is afoot that could have as many negative effects as positive.

‘Ronaldo rule’ to cap Man Utd player salaries

The newspaper report a new measure dubbed the ‘Ronaldo rule’ has been introduced that’ll see the club cap player salaries at £200,000-a-week.

On the surface, it sounds a fine introduction with United guilty of overspending to land dubious stars in the past, not least Ronaldo.

The Portuguese reportedly collected around £500,000-a-week during his second stint in the city. The Mail report the club wish to ensure their best players all earn roughly the same amount and as such, don’t become jealous of better-paid teammates.

The measure will also aid the club’s finances and given their overspending has limited their current striker search to loan deals, it’s easy to see why the decision has been made.

However, there will be several drawbacks, beginning with David de Gea.

De Gea affected, Rashford future questioned

The Spanish stopper currently pockets around £375,000-a-week and will see his contract expire at season’s end. The Mail add De Gea will be offered ‘take it or leave it’ terms at a much reduced rate, presumably in sight of £200,000-a-week.

It’s suggested De Gea is likely to accept the pay-cut as he intends to continue his fine career at Old Trafford anyway. However, the newspaper talk up a looming issue surrounding Marcus Rashford.

The academy graduate is United’s most in-form player at present and has cut a rejuvenated figure since Ten Hag arrived.

However, his deal expires in 18 months’ time, and it’s claimed PSG are prepared to offer the 25-year-old twice what he’ll be limited to earning at Old Trafford.

Losing a homegrown player the calibre of Rashford would be unthinkable for United, especially if he’s able to make his current hot streak the new norm. However, the report adds the salary cap will provide United with a ‘bigger challenge’ in retaining Rashford than they otherwise would’ve faced.

What’s more, if United do stick to their guns, they may struggle to attract the cream of the crop in the market.

Many of the world’s best players already earn in excess of £200,000-a-week and limiting their scope over wages could see elite stars snub a move to Old Trafford.

While his move ultimately didn’t work out, it’s unlikely Ronaldo would’ve returned to Man Utd if only offered £200,000-a-week given he was ultimately paid two-and-a-half times that amount.

READ MORE: Man Utd told muddled way Ten Hag can complete bizarre striker signing, as club chief demands a ‘reward’

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