What Ten Hag Wants Before Including Ronaldo Back Into Manchester United Squad

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Erik ten Hag before coming on as a substitute.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Cristiano Ronaldo’s path to first-team training isn’t cleared yet, with Erik ten Hag keen on holding face-to-face talks before it.

The Manchester United manager axed the Portugal captain from the squad to face Chelsea at the weekend following his petulant action in his side’s win over Tottenham Hotspur.

The 37-year-old refused to come on as a late substitute at Old Trafford during the mid-week clash. As a result, he was told on Thursday he wouldn’t travel to London with the squad and was instructed to train away from the first team.

Players were given two days off after their draw at Chelsea and will return to Carrington on Tuesday.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Dutchman is set to hold talks with Ronaldo on the same day before he welcomes the superstar back into first-team training. This will be their first meeting since Ronaldo was axed from the squad.

It is understood that Ten Hag is keen to find common ground, and still has a role for the veteran in his squad.

United will play FC Sheriff on Thursday in the Europa League, the competition in which Ronaldo has started regularly under the former Ajax boss. He could make his return to a matchday squad for the game but will need to convince the manager he is committed to the project and willing to meet his requirements.

Ten Hag has time and again mentioned he has a responsibility to set standards and values at the club and will hope for a positive outcome from the talks amid limited options upfront at his disposal.

Anthony Martial has had an injury-disrupted start to the season and Marcus Rashford hasn’t been very clinical in front of goal. Midfielder Scott McTominay ended the game as one of the most advanced players for United at Stamford Bridge.