Man United planning for Ronaldo stay – Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag continues to insist he expects Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Manchester United this season and vowed he will be content if the club do not bring in a striker before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

United secured back-to-back victories for the first time since February on Saturday as Bruno Fernandes’ 55th-minute volley was enough to earn a 1-0 win at Southampton.

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For the second consecutive game, Ronaldo started on the bench and had only a peripheral impact as a 68th-minute substitute.

The 37-year-old is believed to be keen on leaving United for a club in the Champions League with Napoli the latest club sounded out by Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes over a possible move.

However, asked whether Ronaldo had played his last game for United, Ten Hag reiterated his belief the Portuguese star will remain at Old Trafford.

“We plan with him,” Ten Hag said. “So we want him to stay. That’s what we want. I hope [he stays].”

United are expected to sign at least one player before the window closes with talks progressing over a deal for Ajax winger Antony while they are scouring the market for another forward.

However, pushed on whether he would be satisfied with his options if United fail in that pursuit, Ten Hag said: “We have Cristiano Ronaldo, we have Anthony Martial, we have Marcus Rashford so we are OK.”

United had lost their seven previous Premier League away games before beating Southampton in a match where they were compact without ever reaching the same heights as their 2-1 win over Liverpool five days earlier.

“There is a lot of room for improvement, that is quite clear,” Ten Hag added. “For me it is normal. When you come in a season it is always tough. That is one. The second is I’m new, the cooperation with the team is new, it’s a new way of play.

“A lot of new factors and will not go 100% from the start, but we have to get results and win games. That is what we did today and I’m happy with that. We’re much more aware of what are the laws of football. What we bring on the pitch I am really happy with that.”

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