Erik ten Hag says Cristiano Ronaldo is happy at Manchester United but understandably “p***** off” when he’s not playing, like he did against Manchester City on Sunday.
The summer has been dominated by speculation about the 37-year-old’s future after the forward’s frustration with the way his first season at Old Trafford was going.
Ronaldo received a stunning offer from Saudi Arabia but no Champions League giants made his move for the Portuguese, who missed the pre-season tour or Thailand and Australia due to a family issue.
The forward has made up for lost training time in the opening months of the season and could play his fourth game in all competitions when United meet Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League.
Thursday’s game comes just days after Ronaldo sat on the bench in the 6-3 derby defeat at Manchester City, prompting a spate of questions about his future and happiness ahead of the trip to Cyprus.
“That he doesn’t come on when we’re 0:4, 1:5, 1:6 behind and I don’t bring him on out of respect,” said Ten Hag.
“So nothing to do with what’s happening for the future, what’s happening for January or next year. I don’t see that he’s unhappy, so he’s happy. He trains well.
“He’s enjoying it, I think everyone’s training well. There is a good atmosphere in training. That’s not the point, but it’s important because it’s a basis for good work.”
Asked again about Ronaldo’s happiness, Ten Hag said: “He’s not happy he didn’t play on Sunday, don’t get me wrong, but that wasn’t the question.
“The question was how is he doing on the training ground, how is he doing when he is there and happy. But of course he wants to play, and if he doesn’t play, he’s screwed. Clear.”
Ronaldo seemed in good spirits during the open session of training at Carrington on Wednesday morning and Ten Hag has been on good terms with him.
“I never talk about my conversations with the players,” he said. “They are between us. That’s very clear.
“But if I tell you all the players, if you’re here and happy or satisfied if you’re on the bench, this is not a club you need to be at, and Cristiano in particular.
“He’s really competitive, as we all know. Of course he’s not happy when he’s not playing.
“But I’ve said it before and I have to repeat it, he’s training well, he’s in a good mood, he’s motivated and he’s doing his best. We expect that.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/cristiano-ronaldo-erik-ten-hag-manchester-united-city-manchester-city-b2196058.html Erik ten Hag admits Cristiano Ronaldo won’t play Manchester derby