Roy Keane suggests how Erik ten Hag can deal with Ronaldo situation

Roy Keane has given his view on how new Man United boss Erik ten Hag should solve the ongoing saga over the future of Cristiano Ronaldo at the club.

The 37-year-old informed United earlier this year that he wished to leave Old Trafford, reportedly citing a lack of ambition in the transfer market. It is also claimed that a failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League was another key factor in his decision.

Ronaldo missed the club’s pre-season tours of Australia and Thailand due to ’family reasons’. He played his first match of pre-season against Rayo Vallecano last Sunday. The forward played the first half, before being replaced by Amad Diallo.

However, it wasn’t on the pitch where Ronaldo made headlines. Alongside team-mate Diogo Dalot, the Portuguese star left Old Trafford before the full-time whistle. This did not go down well with Ten Hag, who criticised the pair.

”There were many more who went home [not just Ronaldo],” he told Sky Sports. ”You want to condone that? Certainly not. It’s unacceptable. For everybody.

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”I tell them, that it is unacceptable, and that we are a team, a selection. You have to stay until the end.”

Will Ronaldo continue to play for Man United?

Despite the uncertainty over his future, and having only played 45 minutes of football since June 9, Ronaldo could potentially play against Brighton in Man United’s Premier League opener on Sunday.

That is because Anthony Martial, who was likely to start up front, has been ruled out of the game through injury.

With Edinson Cavani having now left the club, the only other realistic options to slot into that role appear to be Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga. The former name is more likely to play.

But Ten Hag may want to keep both players in wider positions. He has done this throughout pre-season. He would, therefore, be forced to call upon Ronaldo if that were to be the case. It’s fair to say that there are worse players to call upon.

Roy Keane gives verdict on Ten Hag, Ronaldo

A Manchester United legend, Roy Keane knows Cristiano Ronaldo very well from their time together at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Sporf ahead of the new Premier League season, the Irishman has warned his former club about selling Ronaldo. However, he also recognises how Ten Hag can use the situation to his advantage.

Keane explained: ”Given the Ronaldo situation, the players leaving before the end of the game. I think that all that can help [Ten Hag], in terms of going, ‘Yes, that’s unacceptable’. It’s nice to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

“I obviously don’t think it’s ideal, what’s going on. But I also think it’s manageable. I’m not into all this, ‘He left early. He missed pre-season’. Okay. The circumstances where he left, we don’t know the ins and outs of why he missed pre-season, which is not ideal.

“But I think it’s good for the manager to go, ‘You have two choices. You want to go, yeah, you can go. No problem’. And United might have to lose to win. I said that earlier. If you want to let a player go who guarantees you 20 goals a season, I hope you’ve got lads to back it up. Like Liverpool. You let Sadio Mane go, you’ve got somebody else lined up.

“Or, you sit down with Ronaldo, and manage him. I know it’s a different scenario, but everyone was saying Kane has to leave Spurs. But you manage the situation. You say to Ronaldo, ‘You’ve got a year left. You’re staying here, and we’re going to work around you. But you have to sort your body language out. You have to sort your mindset out’.”

Keane then spoke about the importance of the decision to new boss Ten Hag, early on in his United managerial career.

He said: “At this moment in time, I think this is a huge test for the manager. This is not about coaching. This is about sitting down with a world-class player and managing him, and saying, ‘What’s your problem? Can we sort it out?’

“If, in two weeks’ time, they go, ‘No, we’re just banging heads against each other’, then maybe you let him go.

“But I’d be wary as Man United, letting Ronaldo go. And if you’re hanging on Martial to get the goals. Martial hasn’t proven it. Ronaldo has. But Man United then go out and buy one or two other players, which they’re trying to do, obviously. Ronaldo’s behaviour, it’s not great, obviously. It’s not good. But I think it’s manageable. I think there are ways around it.”

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