Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag hinted at Cristiano Ronaldo’s stay at the club and even contract extension, as he spoke to the British press at the AAMI Park in Melbourne on Monday.
United are in the middle of their pre-season tour Down Under and talking about Ronaldo, who has skipped pre-season, citing family reasons, ten Hag said: “I’m well informed, he also has an option (to extend his contact for another 12 months), no? So, yes (Ronaldo could stay beyond this season).”
Ten Hag’s comment came at a moment when speculation is rife over Ronaldo’s future, that he is trying to force a move out of United to play Champions League football. The latest rumours have linked the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to Atletico Madrid.
Erik ten Hag: “Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale. I planned with him, and I’m looking forward to working with him. The situation is still the same. I am well informed – he also has an option for a further season” 🚨🔴 #MUFC
“Ronaldo could stay beyond this season? Yes”, he added. pic.twitter.com/ZhUHARoQrf
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 18, 2022
All along, United have insisted that the 37-year-old, the club’s highest scorer last season, is not for sale. And Ten Hag doesn’t seem to be too bothered about the player not being part of the tour party. He also allays concerns about Ronaldo struggling to adjust to his high-pressing style. “I think Cristiano is capable of doing that. In his career he has shown everything,” said the United manager, adding: “The players dictate the way you play. Especially players who score goals because they are extremely important for a team.
“A top player can contribute and Ronaldo is an absolute top player in our squad. He is training. I think we all know Ronaldo is a top professional and he will be fit… That’s the last concern I have.”