Erik ten Hag has declared thst Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale and won’t be leaving the Manchester United this summer.
Speaking at his first pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Liverpool in Bangkok, Ten Hag tackled the Ronaldo issue head-on and insisted the unsettled star is going nowhere.
Ronaldo has asked to leave United and is not on the tour after being granted compassionate leave for personal reasons.
Asked about the 37-year-old’s future, Ten Hag said: ‘We are planning for Cristiano Ronaldo for the season and that’s it. I’m looking forward to working with him. Cristiano is not for sale. He is in our plans and we want success together.’
Ten Hag and Ronaldo haven’t spoken since the player announced that he wants to leave the club. The Dutchman wasn’t able to say if Ronaldo will join his team-mates on the Australia leg of the tour.
‘I cannot tell (on Ronaldo joining tour) as absence I already explained and that is it for this moment,’ added the United boss. ‘He’s not with us and it’s due to personal issues.
‘I spoke with him before this issue came up. I had a conversation with him and I had a good talk. That is between Cristiano and me. What I can confirm is we had a really good conversation together. I didn’t speak to him after (the news).’
United have only signed one player so far, defender Tyrell Malacia, and Ten Hag was reluctant to give any updates on their attempts to bring in Frenkie de Jong, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.
‘I never talk about players who are not under contract at Man United, players from different clubs, so I cannot tell anything about this issue,’ he said.
‘We want to add the right players. We have a really good squad, we are working to develop our way of playing and the opportunity is there and we will strike.
‘We not only want new players, we want the right new players. We have a good squad, there’s huge potential. Only when we find them is there an improvement in our squad we will do.
‘I said already definitely we are searching for players in midfield, we also have a need on offence. We are still looking for players.
‘It’s going to be a long season but a season that is quite unusual due to the World Cup, so you need to be prepared for this and need more players than in a normal season.’
Ten Hag did confirm that defender Harry Maguire will remain as captain amid doubts over his leadership.
‘Harry Maguire is the captain. He’s an established captain, he’s achieved a lot of success, so I don’t doubt this issue,’ he added.