Bangkok: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has emphasised that star forward Cristiano Ronaldo is in his plans for the season ahead and the 37-year-old Portuguese is not for sale. The striker missed the flight to Thailand and is currently training on his own at the Portuguese national team’s training base after being given additional time off due to a ‘family issue’.
Ronaldo is reported to be asking to leave Old Trafford after just a year of his second spell there because he wants to play Champions League football next season. Although official Manchester United sources say he is still under contract, the club is thought to be willing to listen to offers, with any money from a sale used for squad rebuilding.
“We are planning with Ronaldo for this season — that’s it. I’m looking forward to working with him. Ronaldo will not be part of United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to “personal issues”, ten Hag was quoted as saying by Skysports on Monday.
Asked if Ronaldo wants to leave, ten Hag replied, “He hasn’t told me this. I have read, but as I say, Cristiano is not for sale, he’s in our plans and we want to get success together. I spoke with him before this issue came up. I had a conversation with him and had a really good talk.”
The 37-year-old forward returned to Old Trafford last summer in a shock switch from Juventus and still has a season remaining on his deal.
Manchester United will play against Liverpool in their first friendly of the pre-season in Bangkok on July 12, before flying to Melbourne, where they take on Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace. The side coached by ten Hag will finish their visit to Australia with a game against Aston Villa in Perth on July 23, before returning to the UK via Oslo (Norway) where they take on Atletico Madrid on July 30.