Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted Cristiano Ronaldo is a long way behind his team-mates when it comes to being prepared for the new season.
Ronaldo made his first appearance of United’s pre-season on Sunday, playing 45 minutes against Rayo Vallecano before being withdrawn at half-time and leaving Old Trafford before the game had come to an end.
Ten Hag declined to speak to the media after the game, talking only to MUTV in an interview which did not mention Ronaldo at all.
However, before the match, he confessed that Ronaldo has a lot of work to do to catch up to his team-mates in preparation for the new season.
When asked for an update on Ronaldo’s situation, Ten Hag told Viaplay: “It’s like before. We plan with him, he’s in the squad.
“I cannot tell [how far away from Premier League fitness Ronaldo is]. He is definitely not on the level of our squad players at this moment because he missed a lot of weeks.
“He needs games and he needs a lot of training.”
United get their Premier League campaign underway on Sunday with a visit from Brighton, and Ten Hag will have to make a decision on Ronaldo’s involvement in that game. Anthony Martial has been the boss’ preferred starter during pre-season, the majority of which Ronaldo missed due to ‘personal reasons’.
90min understands that Ronaldo still wants to leave United this summer but will not refuse to play for Ten Hag if a move fails to materialise.