RON NOT READY Erik TEN HAG hinted Cristiano Ronaldo’s lack of fitness may have contributed to his exile from the Manchester United team.
The Red Devils boss took over at Old Trafford in the summer but decided to use Ronaldo as a bit-part player off the bench in the Premier League.
Erik ten Hag has had his say on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United exit
The Red Devils boss appeared to question the Portuguese forward’s physical shape
Ronaldo missed pre-season with the club because his daughter was ill.
And he struggled to make his mark when he did his limited chances – scoring once in ten league appearances – before his explosive interview with Piers Morgan that resulted in his axe.
But now Ten Hag – who Ronaldo claimed he did not respect – has had his say on the 37-year-old’s acrimonious exit.
The Dutchman said: “It was not my objective. It looks like it, but it was not my objective.
“We wanted him to be part of our project, him to contribute to Manchester United because he is a great player.
“He has such a great history, but it’s the past and we have to look into the future and I don’t spend my energy on it.
“I wanted him to stay from the first moment until now.
“He wanted to leave, it was quite clear.
“And when a player definitely doesn’t want to be in this club then he has to go, clear.
“I did everything to bring him into the team because I value his quality.
“When he is in good shape, he is a good player and he could help us to get back and achieve the objectives we have.
“That is quite clear. But he wasn’t.”
Ten Hag was specifically asked about the “no respect” comment from Ronaldo and whether is showed him no decency.
The ex-Ajax boss replied during United’s mid-season training camp in Spain: “Yes, it is so.
“In the summer we had one talk.
“He came in and said, ‘I will tell you in seven days if I want to stay.’
“Then he came back and said, ‘I want to stay.’
“Until that moment (the interview) I never heard anything.
“I have seen most of it and I think it was quite clear after that he had to leave.”
Ronaldo is currently in Qatar for the World Cup with Portugal