Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo staying at Man Utd
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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag could be given a nine-figure war chest to spend in January if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the club before the end of the mid-season window, according to reports. The Red Devils were among the Premier League’s biggest spenders over the summer and have been widely tipped to loosen their purse strings once again when the transfer market reopens at the start of next year.
One of United’s biggest summer sagas revolved around the short-term future of Ronaldo, who was desperate to leave Old Trafford in search of Champions League football but ended up staying at the club in spite of his wishes. There is still every chance that he could move on in January, though, with his potential departure set to hand Ten Hag a mammoth budget in order to help the Dutchman find a suitable replacement.
The United boss will be given £100million to spend on new players if Ronaldo jumps ship when the bidding opens at the turn of the year, according to The Sun. It is said that Ten Hag is already set to receive a budget of around £70m, which will be increased by almost half in the event of a move elsewhere for Ronaldo before the end of January.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still believed to be keen on leaving United and would jump at the chance to join a club that can offer him the chance to play in the Champions League if the opportunity arises. He is only tied down to the Red Devils until the end of the season, which means that he will be able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club from January as things stand.
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Ten Hag, meanwhile, is already planning ahead for the upcoming window and recently held preliminary talks with United’s hierarchy in order to lay out his ambitions for the mid-season market. He is set to be heavily backed by the Glazers, who are willing to help Ten Hag to build the squad that he desires as he looks to bring United back to the upper reaches of the Premier League table between now and the end of the campaign.
It remains to be seen whether Ten Hag’s budget will be boosted by the potential sale of Ronaldo, who has struggled to adapt to the United manager’s tactics over the last few months. He has been dropped to the bench on several occasions in the Premier League this season but has started in each of United’s two Europa League matches and scored from the penalty spot against FC Sheriff on Thursday evening.
Ronaldo’s impact on proceedings at United was hailed during the match by former Red Devils midfielder Robbie Savage, who highlighted his ability to inspire the club’s younger players to step up and perform by simply being at the training ground on a daily basis.
“When he came on against Arsenal I thought he played very well, he’s been very professional around the club,” said Savage in his role as a commentator on BT Sport.
“His aura with the younger players, the way he conducts himself at the training ground, everybody can learn off him. For all the youngsters, you look at [Zidane] Iqbal, [Charlie] McNeill on the bench and all the youngsters who train with the team, to train with these types of players is amazing.
“They can’t speak high enough of [Christian] Eriksen, Ronaldo, Casemiro now coming in for these younger players. It is fantastic.”
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