The Portuguese forward is attempting to leave Manchester United this summer after growing frustrated with the way the club is run.
But his new manager has slammed the door shut to a possible transfer. At his first pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Liverpool in Bangkok, Ten Hag tackled the Ronaldo issue head-on and insisted the unsettled star is going nowhere.
Asked about the 37-year-old’s future, Ten Hag said:
“We are planning for Cristiano Ronaldo for the season and that’s it. I’m looking forward to working with him. Cristiano is not for sale. He is in our plans and we want success together.”
After being appointed United’s new manager, the former Ajax boss reportedly spoke with Ronaldo. However, the two men haven’t talked since the player’s desire to leave became public.
But ten Hag couldn’t say if Ronaldo would join his teammates on the Australia leg of the tour.
“I cannot tell (on Ronaldo joining tour) as absence I already explained, and that is it for this moment,’ added the United boss. ‘He’s not with us and it’s due to personal issues.’ I spoke with him before this issue came up. I had a conversation with him and I had a good talk. That is between Cristiano and me. What I can confirm is we had a really good conversation together. I didn’t speak to him after (the news).”
Ten Hag’s comments reflect United’s official stance after the club insisted that Ronaldo is not for sale and remains under contract for another year.
The Old Trafford side already have to replace marquee players like Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba and cannot afford to buy a replacement for Ronaldo with less than a month to go until the season starts.
“I never talk about players who are not under contract at Man United, players from different clubs, so I cannot tell anything about this issue,” he said.
“We want to add the right players. We have an excellent squad. We are working to develop our way of playing, and the opportunity is there, and we will strike.
“We not only want new players, but we also want the right new players. We have a good squad. There’s huge potential. Only when we find them is there an improvement in our squad, we will do.
“I said already; definitely we are searching for players in midfield. We also have a need in the offence. We are still looking for players.
“It’s going to be a long season but a season that is quite unusual due to the World Cup, so you need to be prepared for this and need more players than in a normal season.”