Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has branded Cristiano Ronaldo’s behaviour ‘unacceptable’ after the star was spotted leaving Old Trafford early during a recent friendly match.
The Premier League club publicly said they had no issues with the 37-year-old departing the stadium before Sunday’s pre-season game against Ray Vallecano had finished.
The Portuguese star played 45 minutes in the clash, but was substituted at half-time and was pictured exiting Old Trafford before the full-time whistle.
Ronaldo returned to United last week after spending an extended summer break at home in Portugal, missing his club’s pre-season tours of Thailand and Australia.
Ten Hag maintains his prolonged absence was due to personal reasons and had been agreed by the club.
However, it is widely claimed after showdown talks at United’s Carrington training ground last week that Ronaldo is adamant he still wants to leave to pursue Champions League football next season.
Ten Hag has also revealed the 37-year-old wasn’t the only Manchester United player to make an early departure on Sunday, and the boss is not impressed with them.
Asked about the incident in an interview with Dutch outlet Viaplay Sport, Teg Hag said: “There where many more players who left…”
Asked if he thought that was OK, the Dutchman replied: “Definitely not.
“I’ve told them all that it’s unacceptable and that each and every player has to stay till the end of the match.
“We are a team, a selection, you have to stay until the end.”
Ten Hag was then asked about Ronaldo’s extended summer break, which has seen him race a race against time to get up to match fitness for the start of the new Premier League season this weekend.
And, responding to a claim from the interviewer that ‘it seems Cristiano can arrive and leave whenever he wants’, Ten Hag replied: “He was allowed to leave because of private reasons with his family.
“So what you are saying is absolutely not true.”
Ronaldo was replaced by goalscorer Amad Diallo who scored on 48 minutes, before Alvaro Garcia Rivera’s finish nine minutes later ensured the Spanish side left Old Trafford with a 1-1 draw.
The Portugal international continues to be linked with a move away from Manchester United, despite the club insisting he is not for sale.
Ronaldo still has one-year left on his current contract, but could soon be plying his trade elsewhere.
His agent Jorge Mendes is understood to have received an offer from an interested club, and wants United to name their price.
It remains unclear where Ronaldo will be playing his football next season, but he is likely to start on the bench when the club open their new Premier League account away at Brighton on Sunday.
The Premier League is back and talkSPORT has it covered, with games on Friday, Saturday and Monday, beginning with Crystal Palace vs Arsenal on 5 August
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