Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag and co-chairman Joel Glazer are reportedly at odds over the future of Cristiano Ronaldo. While the latter is supposedly keen to keep hold of the veteran, who is one of the most recognisable footballers on the planet, the new manager has been open to the idea of cutting him loose for ‘weeks’.
Ten Hag has remained steadfast when quizzed on Ronaldo’s future in recent press conferences. Despite the Portuguese requesting to leave the club last month, the boss insists that he is not for sale and United expect him to fulfil the final year of his contract.
That stance may be per the instructions of Glazer, however, who is thought to be keen on keeping Ronaldo at Old Trafford. The American, whose family’s ownership of the Red Devils has been marred by protests and controversy, has the final say on all transfers and previously stepped in to prevent Anthony Martial from leaving in 2018.
According to Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag has been ‘receptive’ to the idea of selling Ronaldo for weeks, despite the conflicting message he has put across to reporters.
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Ronaldo has appeared in each of United’s first two Premier League matches this campaign, despite missing almost the entirety of Ten Hag’s pre-season due to a personal issue. A cameo against Brighton last weekend saw the Red Devils improve but couldn’t save them from a 2-1 defeat, while a start against Brentford on Saturday ended up in a calamitous 4-0 thrashing.
Even with Ronaldo still in the squad, United appear to be scrambling in the transfer market to nail down suitable attacking reinforcements. Moussa Dembele may now be the most realistic option amid reports that fellow targets Sasa Kalajdzic, Matheus Cunha and Alvaro Morata are unlikely to leave their respective clubs this summer.
“[Our performance was] rubbish,” said Ten Hag after defeat to Brentford. “It’s poor and we need higher standards than that and it’s clear. I can bring up several things but that looks like excuses. And that is not there in the top we have to deliver and we didn’t do.
“We have to change, that’s quite clear. We have to start better both games. We have to stick to the plan and from the first start we have to switch on and that’s what we didn’t do. You start the game and you make individual mistakes but you make sure one mistake can happen but a second, third mistake is not acceptable. Players must know that. Pressure is always there I know that I have to analyse and find solutions, that’s my job.”