Erik ten Hag has confirmed that he wants Cristiano Ronaldo to stay at Manchester United and has described the club’s 37-year-old talisman as a ‘giant’.
Having overseen his final game at Ajax on Sunday, the new United boss is set to arrive in Manchester on Monday to begin his preparations before he officially starts work on July 1.
Ralf Rangnick will continue as interim manager for the final game of the season against Crystal Palace, but Ten Hag will acquaint himself with the club and hold talks with key officials and staff.
He will no doubt meet Ronaldo for the first time, who he has spoken highly of in an interview with De Telegraaf.
‘Ronaldo is a giant, because of what he’s already shown and I think he’s still very ambitious,’ Ten Hag said.
‘Of course I would like to keep him. He’s been very important to Manchester United this year and can produce great statistics.’
The Portuguese forward has scored 24 goals on his return to Old Trafford this season – more than double anyone else in the squad – but there have been question marks over his future because of the club’s severe underperformance.
United will record their lowest ever Premier League points tally this season and are guaranteed to finish sixth in the table.
Ronaldo’s contract runs until 2023, but the Red Devils have the option to extend this by a further year.
It is looking increasingly likely that he will remain at the club at least for another season and he told United’s official website last week that he was looking forward to working under ten Hag.
‘What I know about him is he did a fantastic job for Ajax, that he’s an experienced coach,’ Ronaldo said. ‘But we need to give him time. Things need to change the way he wants.
‘I hope we have success, of course, because, if you have success, all of Manchester is going to have success as well. I wish him the best.
‘We are happy and excited, not only as players, but the supporters as well. I wish him the best and let’s believe that, next year, we are going to win trophies.’