Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag opens up on Cristiano Ronaldo departure

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United by mutual consent last month (Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has opened up on Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from the club for the first time.

The Portugal international departed Old Trafford by mutual consent last month after his controversial interview with Piers Morgan on Talk TV.

Ronaldo was critical of Ten Hag during that 90-minute-long conversation and asserted that he had "no respect" for the United boss.

Ten Hag had handed Ronaldo just four Premier League starts before the club campaign paused for World Cup 2022.

The 37-year-old, who was dropped by Fernando Santos as Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday, is now a free agent and has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Nassr.

And Ten Hag has addressed Ronaldo's departure for the first time, as United's non-World Cup players arrived in Spain for a training camp.

"He's gone and it's the past. "We are now looking forward and we're looking to the future," he told MUTV.

"I have the feeling, we have the feeling, that we are in the right direction, but we also know that it's still a lot of work to do for us here."

United will resume their season against Burnley in the EFL Cup on December 21, before taking on Nottingham Forest in the Premier League six days later.

Ten Hag's side are currently fifth in the table as they target a top-four finish this term.

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Several top clubs around Europe are interested in Jude Bellingham, but United are said to have "no chance" of winning the race for the midfield star.

The Red Devils have been dealt another transfer blow, with PSV set to raise the asking price for Cody Gakpo after his impressive form at the World Cup in Qatar.

As for Ronaldo, he has denied rumours that he is poised to join Al-Nassr, with the striker keen to prolong his career in Europe.

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