New Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag has said the club has no intentions of selling Cristiano Ronaldo. It has been a less than ideal start to the Dutchman’s tenure at the helm of the Red Devils. Fans and media have heavily scrutinized the club for its lack of decisive action in the current transfer market.
The former powerhouse of English football has struggled to get any of their major targets so far this window. Add that to the behemoth job he has in trying to clean up an apparently toxic dressing room, and it was always going to be tough going.
All that became much worse last week when Cristiano Ronaldo informed the club he too was unimpressed by the club’s lack of activity in the transfer market. So disappointed, in fact, that he intended to leave the club this summer. This was a massive blow to the club and its new manager. Even if you take away the legend of CR7 and all he has accomplished over the last 20 years, the fact remains that he was United’s top scorer last season.
Not long after news broke that the Portuguese superstar wanted out of the club, the paper talk went wild. It started with a mooted return to Real Madrid. Chelsea’s new American owner Todd Boehly allegedly registered interest in the player. And bizarrely, Napoli was linked with the signature of CR7.
And when the footballing legend failed to travel to Asia with his Manchester United teammates, it seemed a matter of when not if, he would leave the club.
TEN HAG RULES OUT CR7 DEPARTURE
Fans of the Red Devils breathed a sigh of relief this evening. During a press conference in Thailand, reporters questioned Erik Ten Hag about whether he would sanction the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo. He couldn’t have made his stance on the matter any clearer with his reply.
“No, we are planning for Cristiano Ronaldo for the season and that’s it and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Ten Hag said.
He remained unequivocal as he continued, “What I said before, once again, we had a really good talk together.”
We believe the talk Ten Hag is talking about was a video call toward the end of May. It is unclear whether he has had contact with the player or his representatives since they handed the transfer request in. It is also unclear if Ronaldo will join up with the squad in Australia for their next batch of friendlies. We believe him to be dealing with a ‘family issue’ and Ten Hag refused to elaborate on it any further. What he said is that CR7’s absence was explained to him and the club, and they accepted it.
Manchester United opens their pre-season schedule with a friendly against fierce rival, Liverpool. The match will take place at the Rajamangala Stadium in Thailand on the 12th of July.
Stuart Kavanagh is a sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia. Along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, he is the co-host of the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast. Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.Follow paulmbanks