Manchester United reportedly have ‘no issue’ with Cristiano Ronaldo after the striker left before the end of their 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
Ronaldo made his first appearances of preseason in United’s last game of preseason amid uncertainty over his future at Old Trafford.
The Portugal international has told the club he wants to leave to play Champions League football and had been excused from season preparations before showdown talks with Erik ten Hag last week.
But despite his agent Jorge Mendes holding talks with most top clubs in Europe, he’s been unable to find a suitor for his client, leaving Ronaldo with no option but to see out his contract at United.
The 37-year-old was the only player to be substituted at half-time on Sunday, owing presumably to his lack of match fitness, but in leaving Old Trafford before the end of the game, increased speculation over his unhappiness at the club.
United are said to have initially declined to comment on Ronaldo’s truancy, but according to the Daily Mail, the club has now clarified that there is ‘no issue’ with Ronaldo leaving early as a number of other players did the same.
Ronaldo was replaced at the break by Amad Diallo, who gave United the lead almost immediately with a close-range rebound, before Alvaro Garcia Rivera’s finish ten minutes later saw Rayo Vallecano draw level.
Ten Hag spoke generally about his team’s performance post-match, suggesting they are “ready for the season”.
He said: “I think we [have had] a good pre-season. We make good progress. We are ready for the season. I know there is still room for improvement. We have to improve and that is also a process that continues during the season. But, for next week, it’s about the result as well,” Ten Hag told MUTV.
“It was a mixture between experience and youth [today]. Some guys, they need to see today, for the first time, what you can expect. You saw the attitude was really great, really the intention to co-operate. They fight and work for each other. That was positive.
“We create also a lot of chances and also conceded some chances. Overall, we have to be satisfied with this performance.”
Ten Hag also reserved praise for United starlet Alejandro Garnacho after the draw:
“What you want is also a young player who deserves a chance,” Ten Hag continued.
“We want to give them that chance and he shows himself during pre-season [training] and that is why he came on [started]. He played pretty well and that’s hopeful. He is just a teenager but his performance was really good.”
Speaking on Lisandro Martinez, Ten Hag added: “I think it was a really good combination with Rapha [Varane] and they played really solid. That was good to see. Always the question is how do you integrate and I think he can integrate quite well into the team.”