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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Man Utd Boss Erik Ten Hag Says he ‘Counts on’ Ronaldo, Expects Him to Stay at Club

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Erik ten Hag has said he does not expect Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United during the January transfer window.

That is despite the Dutchman confirming that the striker refused to come on as a late substitute against Tottenham before leaving early during Wednesday’s victory.

Ten Hag has dropped Ronaldo for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea, as punishment, after he previously left early during a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

In his pre-match press conference, he was asked whether he thought the 37-year-old would remain at the club for the rest of the season and whether he wanted him to stay.

“Both,” he replied.

“It [dropping Ronaldo] is for this game and then we continue. It’s a strike. As we said in the statement, Cristiano remains an important part of the squad and I count on him for the rest of the season. We want to fulfil our ambitions.”

Ten Hag earlier confirmed reports Ronaldo refused to come on against Spurs and said: “What (happened in) the talk is between Cristiano and me. The (club) statement is also clear.

“I am the manager, I’m responsible for the top sports culture here and I have to set standards and values, and I have to control them. We are in a team.

“After Rayo Vallecano I said it’s unacceptable but he wasn’t the only one. That is for everyone, when it’s the second time it will have consequences. That is now what we did. We’ll miss him tomorrow, it’s a miss for the squad but I think it’s important for the attitude, mentality for the group.”

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