New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has insisted that there is still a place at the club for Cristiano Ronaldo, but warned the forward that he now has to prove himself once again.
Ronaldo has asked to leave United this summer amid concerns over the Red Devils’ lack of Champions League football, and after missing the majority of pre-season for ‘personal reasons’, he only made his first appearance for Ten Hag in the recent friendly against Rayo Vallecano – in which he was substituted at half time and left the stadium before the final whistle.
Ten Hag later came out to reveal that Ronaldo did not have permission to leave Old Trafford early, labelling his behaviour as ‘unacceptable’.
Listen now to 90min’s Manchester United podcast, The Promised Land, with Scott Saunders& Rob Blanchette. In the latest edition they discuss expectations for the forthcoming campaign under Erik ten Hag. They discuss top four prospects, if United are actually ambitious in the transfer market and the latest on Frenkie de Jong & Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nevertheless, as it stands, Ronaldo will begin the new season as a United player, but Ten Hag has warned the veteran striker that his reputation will not guarantee him minutes over the coming campaign.
“I think he can [fit in],” Ten Hag said. “It starts with… he has to get fit. He’s just started.
“He’s a fantastic football player, he’s proved that so many times, but you are always judged on what you are now, what you are presenting now, performing now.
“The team, and Cristiano himself, has to prove it.”
90min understands that Ronaldo has reiterated his desire to leave United but has failed to find any interested suitors. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has rejected the chance to move for the striker, but owner Todd Boehly has not yet ruled out a bid if his manager fails to find an alternative target.