'I wanted him to stay', reveals Erik ten Hag after Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United exit
The former Ajax manager said he first came to know about Ronaldo's desire to leave the club after the release of the interview
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed that he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to stay and that he didn't know about his plans to leave the club, prior to the infamous Piers Morgan interview.
The Dutch made the revelation in Spain where Manchester United are currently holding a camp ahead of the Premier league resumption.
"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."
The former Ajax manager said he first came to know about Ronaldo's desire to leave the club after the release of the interview.
"The interview was the first time he said he wanted to leave. I think as a club you can't accept that. There will be consequences. Before he [had] never told me."
The talks of Ronaldo's transfer had gathered pace during the transfer window before the beginning of the season. However, ten Hag maintains that Ronaldo never told him about his plans.
"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."
Ronaldo's tumultuous stay at Manchester United was more often than not plagued by questions surrounding his dwindling ability as a player.
Though the Portuguese fared relatively well in the last season, he could not break into ten Hag's plans as the Dutch employs a high-pressing game - a tactic that doesn't suit Ronaldo's game.
After the interview, Ronaldo and Manchester United mutually decided to part ways. Since then, the five-time Ballon d'Or player has been a free agent.
Rumours of him joining the Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have routinely come up but the 37-year-old has not yet confirmed the news.
Currently, Ronaldo is at the World Cup in Qatar representing his country and preparing for the quarterfinal clash against Morocco.
(With inputs from agencies)
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