‘IT’S THE PAST’ ERIK TEN HAG has insisted Manchester United are looking ahead after breaking his silence over the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, 37, saw his United contract terminated by mutual consent after conducting a tell-all interview with Piers Morgan.
Erik ten Hag has spoken out after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure
The pair did not see eye to eye on matters at Old Trafford
And in his first press conference since Ronaldo’s exit, Ten Hag said the club were looking to the future.
He said: “He’s gone and it’s the past.
“We are now looking forward and we’re looking to the future.”
In his interview with Piers, Ronaldo slammed the club and savaged Ten Hag by saying he doesn’t respect him.
He said: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me.
“If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
This bombshell came after Ronaldo stormed off down the tunnel during the Red Devils 2-0 win over Tottenham when refusing to come on as a substitute in the final few minutes.
As it was, Ten Hag had not favoured Ronaldo from the start of the season after he returned to pre-season late.
However, when he did play Ronaldo’s form was patchy at best.
The Portugal ace netted one Premier League goal in 10 games and added two more in the Europa League – with one of these coming from the penalty spot.
Following his release, United could move for a striker in January to boost their firepower.
Cody Gakpo is among the front runners for this after failing to complete a move to Old Trafford in the summer.
Ronaldo’s Portugal team-mate Joao Felix is also being considered after he fell out with Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.
Ten Hag spoke about the need to find the right characters to add to his squad.
He said: “We looked and with football players clearly that is the first thing, the capabilities a player has.
“The human being behind is also an important factor, but you can’t underestimate that.
“You need the right characters in your dressing room, not only if you want to win a game but if you want to win trophies.”
Ten Hag has got back to work training United’s squad with a training camp in Spain.
However, Englishman Jadon Sancho is not among the players in Spain, instead staying behind to focus on an individual training programme to help him refocus.