Cristiano Ronaldo

Erik ten Hag says he cannot keep waiting for Cristiano Ronaldo to return to Manchester United and is planning for the start of the season with the rest of his squad.

Ronaldo still hasn’t reported back for pre-season after asking to leave Old Trafford and being given compassionate leave for a family issue.

United kick off the new campaign at home to Brighton two weeks on Sunday, and Ten Hag is focussing on the players at his disposal.

‘It is the same as last week,’ said Ten Hag when asked about the situation with Ronaldo and whether he is concerned that the Portugal star is running out of time to be fit.

‘Of course. But concerning is maybe not the right word. I focus on the players who are there, they are doing really well, they are in good shape.

‘I prefer to focus on that and develop that. I cannot wait for him to come in, then we will integrate him.’

Anthony Martial has already been told he is staying, and is set to lead the line in Ronaldo’s absence after impressing on the club’s tour of Thailand and Australia with three goals in three games.

The Frenchman has combined well with Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in the wins over Liverpool, Melbourne and Crystal Palace.

‘You see they connect really good together,’ added Ten Hag.

‘I think when you see that you are lucky as a manager, the team is lucky. We have a threat, we have weapons, and we have to improve that every day, to develop that.’


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