Manchester United

Erik ten Hag confirms Cristiano Ronaldo is in Man Utd plans & questions constant scrutiny

Toby Cudworth
Cristiano Ronaldo has come in for significant criticism
Cristiano Ronaldo has come in for significant criticism / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reaffirmed Cristiano Ronaldo remains in his plans and has questioned why he's taken the brunt of criticism for the crushing 4-0 defeat at Brentford last Saturday.

The Red Devils were torn apart by a rampant first half performance from Thomas Frank's side, with a number of individual errors contributing to a dismal performance from Ten Hag's side.

United were really poor defensively - David de Gea at fault for the first two goals - but Ronaldo has remained in the spotlight for what many have deemed to be a poor attitude.

His desire to continue playing Champions League is well known and speculation has continued over whether or not the 37-year-old will be offered an escape route out of Old Trafford. 90min understands that former club Sporting CP are interested in taking Ronaldo back to Lisbon, but appreciate a deal will be exceptionally difficult to pull off, while sources have confirmed Ten Hag is willing to sanction an exit.

Publicly, though, Ten Hag has always maintained Ronaldo is a part of his plans at Man Utd, and that was a stance he reiterated once more in his latest press conference - held ahead of Monday's game with arch-rivals Liverpool.

"I don't know why he is in focus after Saturday," Ten Hag said about constant reports about Ronaldo. "It was the team performance and the whole team's attitude, including Ronaldo. He is in our plans, that's what I can see."

Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Erik ten Hag wanting to sign five players before the transfer window closes, and Man Utd's attitude to selling Cristiano Ronaldo. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can't see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

In regards to United's performance against Brentford as a whole, Ten Hag added: "I think I make myself clear, I was definitely not happy. You can talk about football philosophy, but the basic stuff has to be good.

"That starts with the right attitude, a fighting attitude on the pitch. I didn’t see that from minute one. You have to bring it every game."