The Athletic have now reported that Ronaldo had even left Old Trafford before the full-time whistle had sounded, leading many to question how the former Real Madrid star will be dealt with. The forward reportedly wanted to leave United over the summer, and whether he is granted that wish in January remains to be seen.
Asked by Amazon Prime whether he saw Ronaldo depart, Ten Hag said: “He was there, I have seen him, but I didn’t speak with him. I don’t pay attention to that, I will deal with that tomorrow. I want to keep the focus on the team.”
How Ten Hag ‘deals with’ the five-time Ballon d’Or winner remains to be seen, though Warnock has weighed in on how he would treat the striker. He told talkSPORT: “If it wasn’t Ronaldo, I’d be tempted to say to his peers, ‘look, he’s got to go in January, can I let him go now? Can I send him home to Portugal now? And we’ll get on with what we’ve got.
READ MORE: Five things learned as Man Utd prove they don’t need Ronaldo
“I think it has actually helped Ten Hag, him doing that, because now he’s got sympathy and whatever he does, he can’t go wrong now so I think it was good for the manager. Anyone but Ronaldo, I would have let him go home.
“I wouldn’t have talked to him last night (Wednesday), I wouldn’t have said a word. I would’ve gone in and praised the lads and how good they were and ‘this is how we’ve got to be’ and I probably would have flippantly said to Ronaldo: ‘I’ll see you in the morning at 10am’ if it’s his day off, hopefully, so it ruins his day off. That’s what I would have done.”
Ronaldo pushed for a move over the summer, with his agent, Jorge Mendes, even holding talks with clubs to discuss the possibility of a transfer. Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid were all linked with the Portugal international, though none of those sides tabled a concrete offer for his services.
Ten Hag insisted that Ronaldo was not for sale throughout the sale, though the good form of his current forwards – along with Anthony Martial returning to fitness – could see the ex-Ajax boss have a change of heart. Though whether a club comes forward with a bid remains to be seen.