‘We need quality players’: Erik ten Hag tells Cristiano Ronaldo he’s STAYING at Man United, even as agent Jorge Mendes desperately hunts for a buyer, with their transfer business declared FINISHED
- Cristiano Ronaldo has been seeking a move away from Man United this summer
- Erik ten Hag is adamant Ronaldo will stay as the squad needs ‘quality players’
- Ronaldo has had to contend with a place on the bench for the last two matches
- His agent, Jorge Mendes, made no secret he has been shopping Ronaldo around
Erik ten Hag suggested Manchester United’s summer business will end once they wrap up the £85.5million signing of Antony – with Cristiano Ronaldo staying at the club.
Ronaldo has been looking for a switch away from Old Trafford in the hunt for Champions League football, communicating that desire in June.
The Portuguese, 37, did not start either of United’s previous two fixtures – against Liverpool and Southampton – with manager Ten Hag instead opting to start Marcus Rashford in the centre forward position.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be staying at Manchester United this summer, says boss Erik ten Hag
The Dutch manager (left) insists that United need ‘quality players’ to cope with all the matches
But, it appears, Ronaldo, who has been shopped around all summer but to no joy amid reported interest from Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Napoli, is set to remain at Old Trafford.
‘[It is] clear, of course. I just said we need quality players, you need more to cover all the games, to keep the consistency going, that is what we strive for,’ Ten Hag said, while insisting that Aaron Wan Bissaka will also stay put after the club were linked with moves for a new right back.
Ajax winger Antony is set to seal a move before the deadline and United hope he will be available for Sunday’s game at Arsenal.
They are looking to secure a loan move for Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka but Ten Hag does not envisage dipping back into the market or any further outgoings.
Ronaldo came off the bench against Southampton and his presence looms large in the squad
Ronaldo has cut a bemused figure having watched recent matches from the subs’ bench
‘In offensive departments we need to strengthen, there are many games to cover, three games a week,’ Ten Hag added.
‘Especially for offensive players fatigue quicker because they run more at higher intensity. We need numbers. But not only quantity, we need quality.
‘This squad we will go from September to the minimum January.
‘It will be for this window the end but when there is great opportunity we always have to be alert at this top club.’
With United in Europe, the league and domestic cups, Ten Hag wants to maintain squad depth
United have been buoyed by consecutive victories against Liverpool and Southampton following the two chastening defeats to begin the season.
The Dutchman stressed that while he has seen improvement it is only a start and requires backing up over the coming weeks – starting at Leicester City on Thursday.
Ten Hag said: ‘I see it as a start, I think we have a good base, this is the minimum we have to bring and I was happy to see the turn and we have to keep that, to keep the spirit, to keep this winning mentality because you need it if you want a successful season in this squad.’
Ten Hag added that he is hopeful that new signing Antony will be available to play at the weekend against but Anthony Martial will play no part against Leicester on Thursday night.
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