ERIK TEN HAG has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo is still very much part of his plans despite the striker wanting to leave Manchester United.
Ronaldo sent shockwaves throughout the football world when he asked to leave United in July, despite only returning to Old Trafford last summer.
Ten Hag has refuted reports claiming Ronaldo wants to leave United and insists the attacker has an important role to play for the clubCredit: Reuters
The 37-year-old is desperate to play in the Champions League, and the Red Devils will not feature in the competition this season.
Ronaldo’s haul of 18 goals in 30 Premier League games wasn’t enough to prevent United from finishing sixth in the competition last term.
Matters between the club and player were further strained when Ronaldo left before United’s pre-season clash with Rayo Vallecano ended.
And the 37-year-old cut a forlorn figure as he started on the bench in the Red Devils’ loss against Brighton.
But Ten Hag insists all is fine between Ronaldo and United, contrary to media speculation.
He responded when asked if it would be wise to start the Portuguese ace, who wants to quit in Saturday’s match against Brentford: “That is your assumption. That is not what he is telling me.
“So I deal with the players we have and we plan with him for this season and we are happy with him and we have to fit him into the team.
“So he has to come at the right fitness levels so that he can do the job that we expect him to do.
“In every press conference, we already confirmed that he is in our plans. We plan with him so we also plan around him.”
Ten Hag may have no choice but to turn to Ronaldo following United’s dismal 2-1 defeat to Brighton.
It’s likely Ten Hag will re-structure the team with Ronaldo leading the line, possibly accompanied by Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga on the flanks.
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