Erik ten Hag says he’s still “counting” on Cristiano Ronaldo for the rest of the season as the Manchester United star will miss Saturday’s clash at Chelsea.
Ronaldo was left out of the matchday squad for refusing to be a substitute in United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham last Wednesday and leaving Old Trafford before the final whistle.
Many have speculated that the 37-year-old, who was desperate to leave United over the summer, played his last game for the Red Devils as his relationship with Ten Hag, his team-mates and the club is now beyond repair.
But Ten Hag says that’s not the case at all, and hinted Ronaldo’s penalty might only apply to the Stamford Bridge game.
In his pre-match press conference, the United manager was asked if he thought the Portuguese legend would stay at the club for the rest of the season and if he wanted him to stay.
Ten Hag simply replied: “Both”, both revealing that he would discuss the matter with the player in due course.
‘It [dropping Ronaldo] is for this game and then it goes on. It’s a strike.
“As we said in the statement, Cristiano remains an important part of the squad and I’m counting on him for the rest of the season. We want to realize our ambitions.
“I said I don’t want to miss him and I want him to be in the squad and I want him to be committed to every game because he’s an influence.”
Ronaldo, meanwhile, apologized to fans for his antics, saying: “Unfortunately, sometimes the heat of the moment overwhelms us.
“Giving in to pressure is not an option. It never was. This is Manchester United and we must stand united. Soon we will be together again.’
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