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Erik ten Hag addresses Cristiano Ronaldo future ahead of Liverpool clash

Erik ten Hag addresses Cristiano Ronaldo future ahead of Liverpool clash

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo remains ‘in the club’s plans’, as the speculation surrounding the Portugal international continues.

The 37-year-old is still believed to be pushing to leave Old Trafford before the transfer deadline, with Borussia Dortmund and Sporting Lisbon the latest clubs to be linked with his services.

A recent report claimed that Sporting are now at the head of the queue for the forward, with the Portuguese giants working to re-sign him before the end of the transfer window.

Ronaldo continues to train with Man United as normal, though, and he will be involved in Monday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool providing that he is still at the club.

The forward cut a frustrated figure at the end of last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford, and there have since been question marks over his attitude in and around the training ground.

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Manchester United on August 13, 2022© Reuters

However, Ten Hag has taken the focus away from Ronaldo following the four-goal loss, and the Man United manager said that the attacker remains ‘in the club’s plans’ when questioned on Friday.

“I don’t know why he is in particular focus after Saturday. It was the team performance and the whole team’s attitude, including Ronaldo. He is in our plans so that is what I can say,” Ten Hag told reporters.

The Portuguese’s agent Jorge Mendes is said to have held talks with a number of Champions League clubs over a move for his client, who is desperate to continue playing in Europe’s leading cup competition.

However, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan are believed to be among the teams to turn down the chance to sign the Portuguese this summer.

Ronaldo came off the bench in Man United’s 2-1 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season before playing the full 90 minutes against Brentford last time out.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag on July 31, 2022© Reuters

The 20-time English champions are currently preparing for Monday’s clash with Liverpool, and a win over the Reds would see them move above their rivals in the Premier League table.

“We work from game to game and now it’s Liverpool. Obviously we know what’s going on when you play against Liverpool and especially when you’re Manchester United,” Ten Hag told reporters ahead of the match.

“So of course you have to be ready but also again you have to cut a point, you have to fight yourself into the season. But it is from game to game.

“I know we are the rivals. We have to win every game but especially this game, yeah, I know. Every game is different. So a different approach, but the philosophy and the plan will be the same.”

Anthony Martial is back from a hamstring problem and should be in the squad against Liverpool, but it remains to be seen whether the Frenchman is thrown straight into the starting XI, potentially at Ronaldo’s expense.

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