Ronaldo a ‘huge problem’ for Ten Hag after see-through attempt to force Man Utd manager’s hand

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Erik Ten Hag and Ronaldo talk during Manchester United friendly Credit: PA Images
Erik Ten Hag and Ronaldo talk during Manchester United friendly Credit: PA Images

Erik ten Hag has been warned that Cristiano Ronaldo will be a “huge problem” at Manchester United this season.

The Portugal international has told United that he wants to leave this summer, but looks set to stay at Old Trafford amid a (hilarious) lack of interest from potential suitors.

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The striker did not join United on their preseason tour of Thailand and Australia, with the club citing ‘family reasons’, before returning on the eve of the new season for showdown talsk with Ten Hag.

Reports suggest a satisfactory resolution was not found but he did featyre in the friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano, before again causing trouble for the United boss.

He left the game at half-time, with Ten Hag later branding his behaviour as “unacceptable”.

And former Premier League striker Carlton Palmer believes it was a deliberate attempt from Ronaldo to create further problems for Ten Hag, presumably in the hope that the Dutch boss will get fed up and allow him to leave.

Palmer told talkSPORT: “Ronaldo knows, he’s been in the game long enough, that unless he has had permission from the manager, which he clearly hasn’t because Ten Hag has come out and said what he has.

“He knows what he’s done. He’s pushing the boundaries, he doesn’t want to be there and made his mind up about that.

“You can’t allow that to go on. He’s not reported back for pre-season training. They say it is for personal reasons, but I don’t agree with that. It’s not for personal reasons.

“They’ve done that to soften the blow because they don’t want fans to think that he’s not returned.

“He’s not up to speed because he hasn’t been training with the players and done the necessary work training by yourself.

“I am a huge Ronaldo fan, but you are a part of the team and you have to adhere to the rules.

“All the players will be looking and saying ‘what are you going to do about him?’

“I know he scored 17 goals last season and he’s the ‘GOAT’, but there are rules and all the rest of the team have to follow by those rules.

“He has made his mind up he wants to leave, he is in very muddy waters as there are few clubs who could afford him and they don’t want him.

“It looks like he is going to be at Manchester United next season, and he isn’t going to start. If he isn’t going to start then that is going to cause Ten Hag a huge problem in the dressing room with discipline and standards.”

Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor echoed the views of Palmer and believes Ronaldo will create issues if he does not play every game.

He said: “I think it will be a problem. Ronaldo will want to play every game, he won’t want to be brought off.

“Ten Hag is going to have different options. Martial has been in good form in pre-season, they will want to give Rashford and Sancho the time.

“They have Elanga as well, who is available to play games. It’s just strange for me the whole situation.

“When I look at it and Ten Hag says ‘Ronaldo needs a lot of training, needs a lot of games and is not as fit as other players’. What has he been doing in Portugal when the rest of the squad are in Australia.

“What has he been doing?

“Leaving the game early, where are they going? Going to lunch? It doesn’t make sense to leave a game.

“In pre-season, sometimes you will have one team in the first half and then one team in the second.

“If you played in that first half, you will get showered while the other players are getting ready to come out at half time.

“Second half, you will go out and watch your teammates. You will sit above the dugout and watch your teammates.

“What are they rushing home for? I’m sure Ten Hag is thinking ‘they went home?’ What kind of free role did they have that they could go home.”

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