Manchester United manager Eric ten Hag has reaffirmed his stance that Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Old Trafford despite the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s desire to enter the Champions League.
Ronaldo missed most of United’s pre-season as the club exempted him from a tour of Asia and Australia for family reasons.
The 37-year-old returned in a 1-1 friendly draw against Rayo Vallecano last weekend. However, he made headlines again for leaving Old Trafford before the end of the game.
Ten Hag called the act “unacceptable”, but also lashed out at the media for focusing on Ronaldo when the other players also left the stadium before the start of the main day.
“I already told you what we are planning for the season (with him). We have the best striker and I am very happy that he is here, he is in the squad, and we stick to this plan, ”Ten Hag said before the match. press conference ahead of his first competitive match as United manager at home to Brighton on Sunday.
“There were a lot of players who left, but all the attention is on Cristiano and it’s not right.
“I am happy with the whole team. There is a good culture here and Cristiano works very hard and hard.”
After a disastrous campaign that saw United finish sixth in the Premier League last season, a major revamp was expected over the summer.
Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata left after their contracts expired, but the Red Devils start the season with only three newcomers – Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malasia and Christian Eriksen.
The long pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who previously played at Ajax under Ten Hag, has so far been fruitless.
“It’s about the right players,” Ten Hag added, referring to the relative lack of transfer activity. “I cannot comment on a player who has a contract with another club. When we have news, we will report it.”
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