You’ll regret it – Erik Ten Hag receives warning against Ronaldo decision
It is not usual for a club manager to send in transfer advice to another but that is the case as the former Celtic manager wades into the Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik Ten Hag situation at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo arrived at Manchester United last season with the hope of helping the team go back to its winning ways and also prolong his Champions League legacy, but Manchester United’s sixth-place result last season meant he couldn’t.
Despite, all his efforts at scoring goals, the club’s dip in form prompted the veteran striker to seek an exit in the summer but the only solid offer, though, came from the Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.
Ronaldo chose to stay but has fallen out of favour with new manager Erik ten Hag.
His goal record of last season notwithstanding, with as many as 24 goals, Ten Hag preferred Marcus Rashford up front.
Even worse for Ronaldo is Anthony Martial’s return to fitness.
Prior to his injury, the Frenchman was Ten Hag’s first choice as center-forward in the preseason.
He scored in each of his first three pre-season games and added a brace against Manchester City last weekend in a dazzling cameo.
As a result, the Telegraph reported that Ten Hag had changed his mind about Ronaldo.
Over the summer, the Dutch manager was opposed to losing such a valuable option up front.
But, according to the tabloid, he is now willing to part ways in January if a reasonable offer comes in.
On Thursday, news of that development, as well as Ronaldo’s lack of playing time this season, reached the manager of United’s Europa League opponents, Neil Lennon.
The former Celtic manager is presently in charge of Cypriot side Omonia. On Thursday evening, United head to Cyprus for a 5:45 p.m. kickoff.
Speaking before the game, in which Ronaldo is expected to start, Lennon stated that United “will need” Ronaldo throughout the season.
There is a tight fixture for this year’s soccer event due to the World Cup.
Man United, for example, plays twice a week every week between now and the World Cup in late November.
Lennon also stated that Ronaldo cannot be held down for long and that if he regains full fitness, he would be ready for another “bumper season” if given the opportunity.
“I understand in the sense why he hasn’t been playing.” said Lennon. “But you can’t keep him out [of the team] for long.
“Over the course of the season, Manchester United will need Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Once he hits his match fitness then he could have another bumper season.
“The fact that he’s going to be here in this stadium, and I’ll get to see him again live and close up is fantastic because he’s one of the greatest players of all time, so it’s very, very special.
“We should pay tribute to him because he and [Lionel] Messi are two of the greatest of any generation.
“He may not be around for too much longer, although the way he keeps on talking, he wants to keep on playing which is amazing.
“It’ll be a great thrill to see him on the pitch here in Cyprus. To have one of the biggest names here will be a fantastic occasion and I hope we rise to the occasion on the night.”
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In a recent press conference just ahead of the Europa League match, Ten Hag mentioned Ronaldo’s situation.
Ten Hag said of Ronaldo’s prospective departure and/or obvious dissatisfaction with his situation: “I can’t see that relation, that he is not coming on when we are 4-0 down, I did not bring him on out of respect.
“It has nothing to do with the future or January. I don’t see him as unhappy. He is happy, training well and enjoying.”
Later clarifying that Ronaldo is happy at Man Utd, as opposed to happy he’s not being selected, Ten Hag added: “He’s not happy that he didn’t play Sunday, don’t get me wrong.
“I treat everyone with respect, but they have all different backgrounds, so I have to treat players well to get the best out of them.
“When you are here, when you are happy, satisfied on the bench, this is not the club you have to be [at].
“Cristiano is really competitive. He is not happy when he is not playing, but I have to repeat, maybe you didn’t hear, he is training well.
“He is in a good mood, he is motivated and he gives his best and that is what we expect.”