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“He’s been manipulated” – Paul Parker claims Cristiano Ronaldo’s return has “mentally bullied” Manchester United’s best player

Former Manchester United star Paul Parker has accused Cristiano Ronaldo of “mentally bullying” his teammate Bruno Fernandes. Parker feels that is the main reason the Red Devils have lived up to expectations this season.

Bruno Fernandes was Manchester United’s best player last season, contributing heavily to their fluid attacking style. However, since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, Fernandes has taken a step back, allowing the former Real Madrid star to take center stage.

Paul Parker believes Fernandes should still be the centerpiece of the Manchester United team and should not be forced to keep giving the ball to Ronaldo at every opportunity.

“The main player for me is Fernandes. I think he’s been manipulated by Ronaldo’s return and I think that’s affected him,” Parker said. “He’s allowed himself to be mentally bullied out of doing all the good things he was doing before. He shirked responsibility in the Leicester game when he would have took it on himself normally but he decided to take the pass to Ronaldo.”

“He’s not grabbing hold of games as he did before. He’s not making opportunities anymore and you have to look at him and think to yourself ‘why is that?’. And there’s only one reason – it’s because he feels he’s got to deliver to Ronaldo and I think there’s a few other players like that as well. But he sticks out because he’s been instrumental in all that United have achieved up until this season.”

Results affecting morale at Manchester United

Manchester United’s squad is a tight-knit unit, but recent results appear to have caused friction among the players. Reports suggest Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been unable to unite all the players, with some of them even turning against the manager.

Earlier today, reports claimed Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly and Donny van de Beek were looking to hold crunch talks with the club after being overlooked consistently by the manager. Other reports suggest that players were left stunned at the club’s decision to keep Solskjaer in the hotseat for another game.

Manchester United have lost three of their last four league games, including a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool last weekend. As a result, the Red Devils have fallen to seventh in the table, eight points behind leaders Chelsea.

They take on Tottenham Hotspur in their next game on Saturday.

Edited by Arvind Sriram

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