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Football

Erik ten Hag gives fresh update on Cristiano Ronaldo situation

Ronaldo return
Cristiano Ronaldo. | PHOTO: Getty Images |
  • Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has given a fresh update on the situation of Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Ten Hag confirmed Ronaldo is not yet back to training citing personal family reasons but updated on when he could be back
  • Ten Hag has also introduced his latest signing Lisandro Martinez to the Red Devils fans

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was again unable to confirm when Cristiano Ronaldo will return to training at the club but did say he will be ‘integrated’ back into the team.

Ronaldo has been absent from pre-season training because of a personal issue and was granted permission to miss United’s pre-season tours of Thailand and Australia.

The 37-year-old’s future at Old Trafford has also been under the spotlight after it was revealed that Ronaldo had asked United’s board to accept any bids made for him this summer – the Portugal captain is frustrated with the lack of Champions League football on offer at the club among other things.

 Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo in a past match in the Premier League last season. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

It has been reported that Ronaldo’s position remains unchanged – he wants to leave the club but will not refuse to play for United at any point – and it’s currently unclear when he will join up again with the squad.

Asked for an update ahead of United’s next pre-season friendly, against Aston Villa in Perth, Western Australia, new boss Ten Hag – who has overseen some impressive pre-season performances – admitted that nothing has changed: “No. It’s the same as last week. Of course, concerning is maybe not the right word (over his absence).

“I focus on the players who are there and they are doing really well. They are in good shape and I have further focus on that and develop that. I cannot wait for him to come in and then we will integrate him.”

United return to England next week before facing off against Atletico Madrid in Oslo at the end of July. They will conclude their pre-season fixtures with a game against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford, before opening their 2022/23 Premier League campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday 7 August.

Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo is not yet back in training. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Erik ten Hag has also given fans an insight into the kind of player that Lisandro Martinez is ahead of final completion of the centre-back’s move from Ajax.

United confirmed on Sunday that there is a deal in place with Ajax, with the transfer still subject to a medical, personal terms and UK visa requirements.

It is worth an initial £49m, topped up by a further £9m in add-ons. That means Martinez stands to be the second most expensive defender in the club’s history, ahead of Raphael Varane and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and behind only Harry Maguire.

Ten Hag was in charge at Ajax when Martinez first moved to Amsterdam in 2019 and has overseen his development over the last few years.

“He’s a warrior and I think the fans will admire him. He has an attitude, fighting spirit,” the boss told ManUtd.com. “He brings aggressiveness in the game, in a good way. I think we need that. But also, he’s also skilful and he can deal with the ball and he’s left-footed.”

Argentine players have largely been popular with United fans in the past. Juan Sebastian Veron, Gabriel Heinze and Carlos Tevez all became cult heroes at Old Trafford, although the latter two left under a cloud due to the manner of their exits.

Marcos Rojo was less successful in more recent years, while goalkeeper Sergio Romero enjoyed a respectable run as David de Gea’s reliable understudy.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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