Cristiano Ronaldo missed the entirety of Man United’s four-match pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue.
Manchester United will seek clarification from Cristiano Ronaldo on when he intends to return for pre-season training. United ended their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia with a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday night and flew back to Manchester straight after the game.
Manager Erik ten Hag has given the players Monday off but they are due to report for training on Tuesday ahead of friendlies against Atletico Madrid in Oslo on Saturday and the visit of Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
Ronaldo was expected to be at Carrington with the rest of United’s June international participants on July 4 but remained in Portugal, citing a family issue, and missed United’s four friendlies in Bangkok, Melbourne and Perth.
Two days prior to Ronaldo’s scheduled return, it emerged the 37-year-old wants to leave United due to their slow movement in the transfer market and failure to qualify for the Champions League, which has slashed Ronaldo’s salary by 25%.
Chelsea and Bayern Munich have both ruled out a move for Ronaldo, despite transferring strikers Romelu Lukaku and Robert Lewandowski to Inter Milan and Barcelona. Ronaldo has been linked with Atletico Madrid.
Ten Hag has indicated Ronaldo will not start the season against Brighton on August 7 if he is available for selection as he will have had less than two weeks’ training with teammates. Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are set to lead the line.
Ten Hag was unable to specify when Ronaldo was likely to be back at United’s Carrington training complex when pressed for an update in Perth on Friday.
“I focus on the players who are there, they are doing really well, they are in good shape, I prefer to focus on that and develop that,” Ten Hag said. “I cannot wait for him (Ronaldo) to come in, then we will integrate him.”
Ronaldo was United’s highest scorer last season with 24 goals and he claimed two Premier League Player of the Month awards, was voted into the Team of the Year and collected his fourth Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year accolade.