Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is changing his stance on want-away striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Dutchman has come out in multiple interviews in full praise of the 37-year-old, once branding him a ‘giant’ of the game.
However, the Athletic now reports that Ten Hag is prepared to sanction the Portugal captain’s departure, saying “Ten Hag is open to Ronaldo leaving if United can recruit in attack.”
As per the Athletic’s report, “Ten Hag … initially wanted United to dig in and keep one of the game’s greatest
ever players on their books. He took the view that even at such an age, Ronaldo remains a world-class goalscorer they could not afford to lose.”
The five-time Ballon D’or winner has been widely linked with a host of top clubs in Europe, although the Red Devils are yet to receive a formal approach. The player and his entourage have offered himself to many clubs including Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Napoli and more recently both Milan clubs in Italy. He has been firmly rejected on all fronts.
Ronaldo failed to attend United’s pre-season tour which Adam Crafton reports, has made it harder to re-integrate him into the team which was bubbling in Bangkok and Australia.
“The Athletic has been told of days where he eats lunch alone in the canteen at Carrington, while he has been seen flapping his arms about in training and attempting to argue against the high-pressing approach favoured by the new manager.”
“Several sources close to United, who wished not to be named to protect their business relationships, argued that Ronaldo has been afforded greater leeway than his peers and indulged beyond the contribution he is currently providing to the club.”
“Ronaldo had further exasperated coaches and supporters when he did not acknowledge United’s travelling fans after the full-time whistle, despite assistant coach Steve McClaren appearing to urge him over to them.”
This follows news that came out yesterday in which Sky Sports put out information that club chiefs were considering terminating Ronaldo’s contract as a result of a bad attitude – something both staff and players had grown tired of.
Manchester Evening News were quick to refute these claims, dismissing them as untrue.
“Manchester United insist reports they are considering terminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract is false. Their position on Ronaldo hasn’t changed,” the outlet reports.
#mufc insist report they are considering terminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract is false. Their position on Ronaldo hasn’t changed.
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) August 14, 2022
It is important to highlight that Ronaldo participated in running drills yesterday at Carrington, as part of Ten Hag’s punitive measures following the shameful performance against Brentford.