Erik ten Hag has insisted Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale despite the player’s desire to leave Manchester United this summer.
Ten Hag, speaking at his first pre-match press conference as United manager ahead of their match with Liverpool in Thailand on Tuesday, received a flurry of questions from present journalists on the topic of the 37-year-old and his future at Old Trafford. Ronaldo rejoined United last summer but the club endured a miserable season, changing managers and finishing sixth in the Premier League.
Despite Ronaldo’s representatives making it clear in recent weeks of his desire to leave United for Champions League football for the coming season, potential destinations are limited for the player and United have remained steadfast in their desire to keep him publicly.
Ten Hag reiterated this on a number of occasions as he faced the media, admitting personal issues were the reason for his absence on the pre-season tour, which also takes United to Australia.
“He’s not with us due to personal issues,” Ten Hag said. “We are planning with Cristiano Ronaldo for this season and that’s it. I’m looking forward to working with him.
“I don’t know [how to make him happy], he hasn’t told me this. But Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale, he’s in our plans and we want to get success together.”
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Ten Hag admitted he has spoken to Ronaldo since being appointed as manager, but did intimate that no dialogue has taken place since news of his desire to leave the club emerged at the end of last month.
“I spoke with him, but before this issue came up,” he added. “We had a real good talk, but that is between Cristiano Ronaldo and me.
“I cannot tell [if Ronaldo will join the pre-season tour] because of the reasons I’ve already explained.”
Ten Hag also confirmed that the club are looking to “strike” on available transfer targets in midfield and attack.