"NOT FOR SALE": Key figure threw a spanner in the works of Ronaldo's sale
The Manchester United job must be one of the highest pressures manager seats in all of world football, and Erik ten Hag is starting to feel it. While it was all smiles and roses when he first took over, now the rigours of the job are showing.
The Dutch manager spoke in press conference during the Red Devil's Asian Tour, and he was asked about every pressing matter on the Old Trafford's side agenda. The biggest issue? The future of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star is reportedly looking for a way out of United after their failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, but according to Ten Hag there's no truth to those rumours.
"I spoke with Cristiano Ronaldo before this issue came up. I had a good conversation with him. He hasn't told me that he wants to leave... We want success together", said Ten Hag about the word that's goind round linking CR7 with a move to another top European club.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is NOT for sale, he is in our plans - he's not with us due to personal issues. We are planning with Cristiano Ronaldo for this season, that's it", added the Dutch manager. "How to make Cristiano happy? I don't know - I'm looking forward to work with him".
This muddies the waters regarding the future of the Portuguese striker even further, as it was confirmed by directors of Bayern Munich and Barcelona that the player was offered to them by the Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, while it has also been reported that new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly would be keen on the player as an statement signing for the club's new era under him.
Erik ten Hag spoke as well on other transfer rumours surrounding United, most specifically the situation with Frenkie de Jong. "I never talk of players who are under contract with other clubs. I'm not gonna answer about Frenkie", said the Dutch manager. However, he was clear United are still in the market: "We're still looking for players in the midfield and in offense. We want to add the right players. We've really good squad, we are working to develop our way of playing".