Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag takes stand over Ronaldo transfer debacle, as reporter outlines Man Utd expectation

Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo

Erik ten Hag won’t allow the Cristiano Ronaldo sideshow to define his first year in charge, and a Sky Sports reporter has detailed what Man Utd expect if the striker stays.

The Portuguese icon waited until a month after last season ended before dropping a bombshell on Manchester United. Ronaldo has urged the club to entertain any suitable transfer offers that emerge from clubs with Champions League football on offer. At present, the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Napoli have been linked.

The timing is far from ideal for new boss Erik ten Hag, especially as the club have so many irons in the fire regarding incomings.

United may not know whether they need to sign a new centre-forward until it’s too late. What’s more, they won’t know whether their wage bill is £500,000-a-week lighter until a resolution comes.

Ronaldo missed a second day of pre-season training today with family reasons again cited as to why. United are understood to have accepted that explanation.

According to Sky Sports, Man Utd are in the dark as to whether Ronaldo will return to training before they jet off for their pre-season tour on Friday, July 8.

United’s stance thus far has been that Ronaldo is not for sale. However, Sky indicate that outlook could soften once a credible offer is lodged.

Now, speaking on Sky Sports News, Kaveh Solhekol outlined United’s expectation if Ronaldo does wind up staying.

What’s more, the reporter revealed Ten Hag will do all he can to prevent the Ronaldo sideshow from defining his first season at the helm.

Ten Hag expected to demand greater work-rate

“If Ronaldo ends up staying at United, he will be expected to work as hard as any other player,” said Solhekol.

“If he leaves, it would suit all parties if the deal was done as quickly as possible. United would let him leave if they receive an offer which suits all parties.

“Ten Hag doesn’t want Ronaldo’s future to be the focus of next season. United cannot afford to have the Ronaldo show distracting them during the rebuild which has just started. It would have suited United if the Ronaldo issue had already been resolved.

“If he doesn’t go on their pre-season tour, there will be lots of questions about why he is not there. If he does go, there will be lots of questions about his future.

“United cannot offer Ronaldo what he wants most next season which is Champions League football. Any other 37-year-old may be happy to be a substitute and come on for the last 20 minutes of games. But that is obviously not the case with Ronaldo.

“United players will be running harder, faster and farther than last season.”

Ronaldo exit wish a blessing in disguise?

Doubts were voiced as to Ronaldo’s suitability to a Ten Hag system upon the Dutchman’s appointment.

Ten Hag operates with a high energy and free-flowing style in the final third. Ronaldo is as good of a guarantee as any to score goals when playing, though other parts of his game cannot be ignored.

Ronaldo’s output from a defensive standpoint is virtually nil. A team that conceded their highest number of goals in the Premier League era last season cannot afford to be defending with one man less.

The strength of Man City and Liverpool does not allow the chasing pack below them to carry passengers. In reality, a parting of ways may benefit both sides and be a blessing in disguise.