Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has spoken about Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit for the first time since his contract with the club was terminated.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who has recently been linked with a lucrative move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr, left United by mutual consent following his controversial comments made on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV. Ten Hag was one of the recipients of Ronaldo’s criticisms in that interview, but rather than issue a direct response, the Dutchman has expressed his desire to move on from the whole episode and look to the future.
On the premature exit of the Portugal international, whose contract had been due to run until next summer, Ten Hag said to MUTV: “He’s gone and it’s the past. We are now looking forward and we’re looking to the future.”
With Ronaldo gone, the United boss will be able to focus on imposing his long-term vision at the club, as he suggested that young players could play a key role after impressing in the international break. Ten Hag has also discussed how far the squad has come since their surprises losses to Brighton and Brentford at the start of the season, adding: ”When you change things in an organization and change the way of playing, that takes time. In top-level football, you never get time. Opponents want to kill you and that happened. We had to quickly adapt and I think our squad did terrifically. The mentality changed and I think our way of playing changed during the season, the style, and I think we are growing and we have to keep the process going.”
While senior internationals are away at the World Cup, United has organized friendlies against Cadiz and Real Betis across December. Ten Hag will lead the Red Devils out in their next competitive fixture in the Carabao Cup at home to Burnley on December 21.