Cristiano Ronaldo has delivered a damning verdict on the culture at Manchester United and says he has not returned to the club to compete outside the top four.
Ronaldo, 36, also says changing the mentality of players will take time under Ralf Rangnick despite the German having just five months left as interim manager at Old Trafford.
United have slipped to seventh place and, in terms of points, are closer to the relegation zone than Premier League leaders Manchester City.
“Manchester (United) belongs in (competing for) important things. We have to change that. I don’t want to be here in the club to fight to be in sixth place or seventh place or fifth place,” said Ronaldo.
“I know the way but I am not going to mention it here because I think it is not ethical on my part to say that. What I can say and something we are in control of is doing better. All of us.”
Rangnick arrived from Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow last month and has highlighted a lack of intensity among players and poor body language which he claims helps opponents.
“It is not that easy to change the mentality of players and the way to play and the system and the culture,” said Ronaldo on Sky Sports.
“He arrived here five weeks ago and changed many things but he needs time to put his ideas to the players and on the pitch as well it takes time but I believe he is going to do a good job.”
Meanwhile, City have announced increased revenues of £569.8million, which has seen them overtake United during the Covid-19 pandemic.
City’s income increased 19 per cent after winning the Premier League and reaching the Champions League final, which also saw them make a £2.4 million profit in 2020/21 after losses of £126m the previous year.
United’s revenue stood at £464m by comparison, reflecting their stadium being closed to fans while football closed its turnstiles for the coronavirus pandemic. Their figures are expected to rise with supporters allowed back at Old Trafford.