Erik ten Hag has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire are part of his plans at Manchester United despite uncertainty over their respective futures at the club.
The former Ajax boss was confirmed as Man Utd’s new manager last month and gave his first press conference on Monday afternoon, in which he talked about his plans for the upcoming season and beyond.
High on the agenda was the question of Ronaldo and Maguire, both of whom have been the subject of speculation linking them away from Old Trafford, but the new man in the dugout has quelled any uncertainties.
Ronaldo, 37, is currently the record scorer in Champions League history with a tally of 140 goals, and he will no doubt want to continue consolidating that status in Europe’s blue-riband competition — a competition in which Man Utd missed out on as they finished sixth in the Premier League.
Maguire meanwhile has bore the brunt of of widespread criticism this campaign following a string of haphazard and wayward performances in the heart of the club’s defence, performances augmented by his status as football’s most expensive defender ever.
However, Ten Hag has been quick to suggest he is starting with a clean slate in the North West. Major surgery will be required this summer, but the 52-year-old Dutchman says Ronaldo and Maguire will not be part of any cull at Old Trafford when the window opens.
When asked about whether Ronaldo is considered part of his plans, Ten Hag responded: “Of course.”
Ten Hag was then pressed on what the Portuguese superstar will bring to his system, to which he replied: “Goals!”
The Dutchman was also quizzed on Maguire’s captaincy status, telling reporters: “Next season is a different season, he is a great player.
“He already achieved a lot and also [made a] contribution to Man Utd. I am looking forward to working with him.”