‘He’s happy’: Erik ten Hag insists Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is at Man Utd for this reason
The Manchester United boss dismissed the idea that Cristiano Ronaldo is unhappy at the club.
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The Red Devils were well-beaten by their cross-town rivals on the weekend, losing 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium.
Ronaldo was named on the bench for United but didn’t feature, leading to questions of whether he will remain at the club when the January transfer window opens.
The forward has made eight appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions this campaign, scoring once.
Ten Hag has reiterated the reason Ronaldo wasn’t brought on against City was out of ‘respect’ for the Portuguese international and not due to speculation he’s unhappy at Old Trafford.
"I can’t see that relation, that he [Ronaldo] is not coming on when we are 4-0 down, I did not bring him on out of respect,” Ten Hag said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “It has nothing to do with the future or January.
“I don’t see him as unhappy. He is happy, training well and enjoying [being here]."
United travel to Cyprus to take on Omonia in their third Europa League Group E match, with Ronaldo expected to play some part in the fixture.
The Red Devils’ no.7 was on the scoresheet for United in their last European outing, when they beat Sheriff 2-0 in Moldova.
United’s boss revealed Ronaldo was unhappy that he didn’t feature against City, but insisted the forward is training well ahead of Thursday.
"He’s not happy that he didn’t play Sunday, don’t get me wrong, but the question was about his mood in training, where he’s happy,” he said.
“Of course, he wants to play and he’s p***** off when he’s not playing."
Ten Hag could rotate his team against Omonia due to the Red Devils’ busy fixture schedule before the World Cup - a period that sees his side play 12 games (including Thursday).
Despite Ronaldo not making an appearance at the Etihad, the 37-year-old is maintaining his high standards ahead of games.
"He [Ronaldo] is motivated and he gives his best and that is what we expect,” Ten Hag said.