Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Man Utd first-team after Erik ten Hag talks

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to training with Manchester United’s first-team today – after being banished last week by Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo was dropped for United’s draw at Chelsea and made to train away from the squad after refusing to come on in last Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.

But after clear-the-air discussions with Ten Hag, Ronaldo resumed training with the first-team group and is in contention to start Thursday’s Europa League clash at Old Trafford.

United sources said Ten Hag and Ronaldo had been in constant dialogue since the decision was taken to drop him for the Chelsea game and exclude him from training for up to three days.

Ten Hag made it clear he would not tolerate Ronaldo’s tantrum and decided to make an example of United’s most high-profile player, to show such conduct cannot be tolerated at the club.

The United manager said: “We set certain standards. That is for any player. He has to live, as anyone else, along certain standards and the standards we set this season.

“When I got appointed, I talked to the directors about the culture, top sport culture, standards, and that’s why they appointed me.

“They did some background checks and we had talks about how I lead, what my personality is, how I do it in a strategic way and about my standards and leadership. That’s what it’s about.

“To get a top sports culture and to set the highest standards, we have to live by them. That’s what we do at the moment. It’s about the club. I have to take decisions in the interests of the club and the team especially, that’s my job.

“It doesn’t matter who it is, the age or reputation. The expectations of Manchester United are really high. The ambitions are high. Our fans, all of our stakeholders, expect results, so you have to act to certain standards and work every day on that.”

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