Erik ten Hag willing to let Cristiano Ronaldo return on one condition this week

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will offer Cristiano Ronaldo a route back into the team this week – providing his accepts his reduced role in the squad and expresses ‘contrition’ over last week’s antics.

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Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute during United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham on Wednesday, instead storming down the tunnel with the match still going on.

As a result, the 37-year-old was banished from the squad for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea having also been exiled from first-team training.

Erik ten Hag, who has given his side Monday off ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash against FC Sheriff, has explained Ronaldo will still have a role to play this season.

But The Athletic report the United boss first wants to hear what the former Real Madrid star has to say on what has transpired over the last five days.

Ten Hag will allow the veteran to re-join first-team training should he ‘accept flexibility over his selection and express contrition’ over his behaviour last week, the report states.

But if Ronaldo refuses to accept his lesser role in the side and again pushes to leave the club, ten Hag will give him the green light to find a new employer in January.

Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes sought to do just that in the summer with Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs to reject the chance to sign the Portugal international.

Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Ronaldo’s boyhood club Sporting CP were also contacted but expressed major concerns over the cost of recruiting the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

United are thought to be willing to let Ronaldo leave on a free transfer in the New Year by mutually agreeing to terminate his contract.

Asked if United missed Ronaldo during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea, Ten Hag said: ‘Yes, always he can score a goal. He is valuable for us and we need him that’s clear. I think you see it also in this game that he can finish off that’s quite obvious.’

Pressed on whether he could fix his relationship with Ronaldo, Ten Hag added: ‘I think I have said enough about that situation.

‘Let’s focus on this game, it was a good game for my team and I have to really compliment my team.’

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