Erik ten Hag has been praised for his handling of the Cristiano Ronaldo situation even though he ‘probably doesn’t want him at Manchester United’.
Ronaldo informed the club earlier this summer that he wished to leave the Red Devils in order to play Champions League football.
He missed their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to family reasons, but is set to head back to the club for crunch talks with the manager.
It remains to be seen if the 37-year-old will be at the club this season. His options of clubs is severely limited with Chelsea and Bayern Munich ruling themselves out of the race.
Atletico Madrid are believed to be pushing to sign him and are willing to offload Antoine Griezmann, but that has led to a backlash from fans owing to his history with bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Former Arsenal winger Perry Groves believes that Ten Hag has expertly negotiated the situation.
He told talkSPORT: “I think Ten Hag has played it very cleverly because the way he wants to play, Ronaldo doesn’t fit in that at all.
“You’ve seen in their pre-season he wants to press high, everyone working hard off the ball, Martial working hard, Marcus Rashford working hard and Jadon Sancho coming back.
“His philosophy is about discipline, team effort, working hard. Ronaldo is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, we’ve ever seen.
“I wouldn’t have him anywhere near that Manchester United squad as Ten Hag wants to implement his own ideas and Ronaldo has become the story.
“Ten Hag has played it really well. Off the record he would probably say he doesn’t want him at Manchester United.
“He doesn’t fit the way he plays.
“He has also actually said ‘he’s under contract with us, I want to keep him around, I want to talk to Cristiano’.
“I think he wants it that Ronaldo forces it so Ten Hag doesn’t appear the one forcing him out.”