Cristiano Ronaldo’s future remains uncertain but his current club Manchester United is defiant that their superstar forward will see out the remaining one year of his contract at Old Trafford with even the possibility of extension. Ronaldo remains a notable absentee from Man United’s ongoing pre-season tour under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Several top clubs including the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Sporting among others have been cited as possible new destinations for Ronaldo who reportedly is unhappy with Man United’s lack of activity in the transfer window. Additionally, they have failed to qualify for the Champions League and Ronaldo wants to play in the top European competition.
“I am well informed he also has also an option, eh?” Ten Hag said of the clause in Ronaldo’s contract that if triggered could mean he would remain at Man United till 2024.
“Yes (remain with the club beyond the upcoming season), but to be honest, of course I have signed here for three years, but in football it’s short-term as well. We have to win from the start. So I don’t look that far ahead. I have a strategy, it’s a process, it takes time, but in the end we have to make sure from the outset there is a winning team,” he added.
Ronaldo scored 24 goals across all competitions last season and at 37, he’s in the twilight stage of his professional playing career. However Ten Hag maintains that the veteran has the capability of fitting into his plan.
I think Cristiano is capable of doing that. In his career, he has shown everything. I have set my demand. We want to play in a certain way. A top player can contribute and Ronaldo is an absolute top player in our squad,” he said.
He continued, “The players dictate the way you play. Especially players who score goals because they are extremely important for a team. You construct your team around them.”
When asked about the timeline of Ronaldo’s return, Ten Hag said, “The same status as last week in Bangkok: no change. I cannot tell you (when he will be back at Carrington). No change in the issue. He is training. I think we all know Ronaldo is a top professional and he will be fit. That is the last concern I have.”