Sevilla loanee Anthony Martial has moved to deny rumours that Cristiano Ronaldo has been a corrosive influence on Manchester United's dressing-room environment since the Portuguese's return to the club last summer.
United continue to stutter in their bid to finish in the top four of the Premier League, and saw their last hopes of a trophy - the Champions League - go up in smoke on Tuesday night, losing 2-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid in the round of 16.
And multiple reports in recent weeks have suggested that Ronaldo is at the centre of a split in the playing camp.
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But Martial - who only left Old Trafford for Sevilla in January - claimed that the Portuguese star is not the man to blame.
Speaking to Spanish outlet AS, Martial said: "Cristiano is a top professional, one of the best in the history of the game. We all love him.
"There are things that are said in the media that are not true.
"I was in that dressing room and I know what happened."
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Martial's own time at Old Trafford was fraught with difficulties as 2021 ended, and it culminated in him leaving the club - albeit temporarily - for Spain in search of happiness, and game time.
The 26-year-old said: "I asked United if I could leave as I wanted to play. [Boss Ralf] Rangnick came in but I wanted to leave, so I told him so. He said if I wanted to continue, the way I was training, I was going to play.
"But I needed to find a new atmosphere, a new club. I still have a contract there, though, so I don't know what will happen when the season is over.
"I had many options, but I spoke to [Sevilla boss Julen] Lopetegui and [sporting director] Monchi and for me coming here [Sevilla] was for the best. They made me feel important.
"He [Lopetegui] wants me to play the way I know how, but he also wants me to adapt to the team and put in a lot of intensity.
"Sevilla are an intense side when pressing, without the ball. Julen is a good coach. You can see it in the way he seems to play the game from the sidelines. He fills us players with lots of energy.
"I wanted to play and enjoy football again. I have lost time in Manchester without doing that and I needed it."
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