Erik ten Hag hits out at questions about Cristiano Ronaldo’s early exit from Manchester United friendly
Erik ten Hag bristled at questions about Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to leave Manchester United’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano early amid ongoing uncertainty over his future.
Ronaldo was the only player involved in the 1-1 draw against Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday who left the stadium before the final whistle, which Ten Hag described as “unacceptable” in an interview with a Dutch broadcaster in midweek.
It emerged a month ago that Ronaldo wants to leave United following their failure to qualify for the Champions League but Ten Hag was brusque on the topic of homing in on Ronaldo’s exit when other first-team squad members had left around the same time.
“What do you mean?” Ten Hag asked when Ronaldo’s future was raised. “Now I have to point, those who left, they were many players who left but the spotlight is on Cristiano, that is not right.
“So do your research and make out many players left, that was what was said. I don’t understand what is the relation, he was part of it. There were a lot of players.”
When pressed, Ten Hag responded: “What do you mean? I’m really happy, I told you before, we have a top striker, really happy he’s here with the squad and we stick to the plan.
“I think we’ve said enough on it (players leaving early). I said it’s not correct. I’m satisfied with the whole team, we’re working good, good culture and Cristiano is working really tough and hard.
“You mention it (that it is unacceptable), you correct them, then move on.”
With Anthony Martial out of the opening fixture against Brighton, Ten Hag was asked if Ronaldo would start despite playing 45 minutes in pre-season: “We will see Sunday.”