Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says the club are now looking to the future after dealing with Cristiano Ronaldo.
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- Gary Neville sends brutal message to Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal snub
United terminated Ronaldo’s contract by mutual consent last month after the striker gave an interview to Piers Morgan in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club. Ten Hag has now addressed the situation for the first time.
“He’s gone and it’s the past,” he told MUTV. “We are now looking forward and we’re looking to the future.”
The Red Devils have travelled to Spain for a winter training camp ahead of the return to competitive football after the World Cup. They will play Cadiz and Real Betis in friendly games before returning to action against Burnley in the Carabao Cup on December 21.
Ronaldo is now away at the World Cup with Portugal, who reached the quarter-finals on Tuesday with a 6-1 victory over Switzerland. The forward was left on the bench for that game by manager Fernando Santos.
The Portugal international is a free agent at the moment and painted his exit from United as a chance to find a new challenge. “Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early,” he said in a statement.
“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge.
“I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.” That statement was a very different tone to the comments he made to Morgan about Ten Hag.
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” he said on TalkTV. “Some people, they don’t want me here – not only the coach but the other two or three guys. Not only this year, but last year too.
“Honestly, I shouldn’t say that. But listen, I don’t care. People should listen to the truth. Yes, I feel betrayed.”
Meanwhile, Ronaldo has been offered £173million per year to join Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr. He is reportedly still holding out for a Champions League club, so has not accepted the offer.
“No, it is not true,” Ronaldo insisted when he was quizzed about the rumours linking him to Saudi Arabia.