Ten Hag could finally grant Ronaldo's transfer wish - two months after his exit

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Ten Hag could finally grant Ronaldo
Ten Hag could finally grant Ronaldo's transfer wish - two months after his exit

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is finally set to grant a transfer request made by Cristiano Ronaldo – but two months after the forward departed Old Trafford.

Ronaldo completed a stunning move to Saudi Arabia club Al-Nassr on Friday and is expected to earn in the region of £173million per year. The deal comes after Ronaldo ended his relationship with Manchester United by mutual consent in November following a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

His exit concluded an underwhelming 18 months at United following his stunning return to Old Trafford in August 2021. Despite netting 24 goals in his debut season, United’s form nosedived after his arrival and his personal output significantly decreased this campaign.

Reports in March last year explained that Ronaldo had told the club what sort of player they should sign for the following season as they restructured their squad. As outlined by The Athletic, Ronaldo's request was for the Red Devils to sign a profile of player which would allow them to make a tactical tweak and get the best out of the superstar.

The Portuguese superstar was said to have instructed the club to sign a central striker in the summer which would allow him to slightly adjust his position, to cut in from the left flank and link-up with a striker who would continue to occupy the penalty box area. This idea was similar to the one shared by the club’s former interim coach Ralf Rangnick, who left at the end of last season.

Marcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash rriqudiuriqkkinvMarcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash

Ten Hag never held a face-to-face meeting with Rangnick but did have a lengthy phone chat with the German prior to his exit just weeks later as his agreed longer-term role at United was binned by the club. The interim coach subsequently outlined his transfer advice to United, which was ignored by the club.

Ten Hag could finally grant Ronaldo's transfer wish - two months after his exitRonaldo and Ten Hag had a short and frosty relationship during their short time together at Man Utd (PA)

Have Your Say! Is Ronaldo’s legacy tarnished by his form in recent months? Tell us what you think here.

Rangnick handed United a shortlist of six players whom he would like to sign, of which five were attacking players and three were out-and-out strikers; including Erling Haaland, Alvaro Morata and Dusan Vlahovic.

That Rangnick was prioritising the striking position over any other showed that he believed Ronaldo needed to be replaced as the side's starting striker and that it was the area in the squad which required the most urgent attention.

Ten Hag could finally grant Ronaldo's transfer wish - two months after his exitCristiano Ronaldo has secured a move to Al-Nassr (Getty Images)

However, Ten Hag did not sign any of Rangnick's shortlist and nor was any new striker among his six additions to his United squad. Defenders Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez were joined by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, midfield duo Christian Eriksen and Casemiro, along with wide attacking star Antony.

United have been light in attacking numbers this season with only Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as recognised strikers in their senior squad, following the departure of Ronaldo. The club are now hopeful of adding a central striker to their ranks in January, which would see the Portuguese forward’s request granted – but only after he has exited the club.

Colin Millar

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation