Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag will leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of his front three for their opening Premier League match of the season, according to reports.
The Red Devils face Brighton at Old Trafford on the opening weekend of the new campaign with Ten Hag looking to get off to the perfect start in his first competitive fixture.
Man Utd have had a decent pre-season under the Dutchman, winning three, drawing two and losing one of their six friendlies.
However, their progress under Ten Hag has been overshadowed by their never-ending pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ronaldo’s plea to leave the club this summer.
Ronaldo, who wants Man Utd to accept any ‘satisfactory offers’ for him this summer, has only played 45 minutes in pre-season after missing the club’s tour due to ‘family reasons’.
And, according to The Sun, Ten Hag has now decided to leave him out of their starting XI for the match against Brighton as he faces a ‘humiliating stint on the bench’.
Humiliating? It seems pretty understandable to us why Ten Hag is leaving Ronaldo out and no doubt he will be in the starting line-up again once he regains match fitness.
Surprisingly, 45 minutes against Rayo Vallecano is ‘not enough’ for Ten Hag to be convinced with a front three of Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all impressing in pre-season.
And The Sun add that those three forwards will start the first match of their new Premier League campaign against Brighton which ‘will not go down well’ with Ronaldo.
It is understood that Ronaldo wants ‘a move to go through by the end of the week’ but that Man Utd ‘are refusing to sell or even name a price for the player, who has a further 12 months on his deal with the option of an extra year.’
Lots of former players and pundits have differing views on Ronaldo’s situation but former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf thinks the Portugal international is being “disrespectful” to Man Utd.
Leboeuf told ESPN FC: “It is (wrong) for me. It’s not professional with all due respect and the fact I appreciate the player and what he achieved in his career but it’s not professional and disrespectful towards the club.
“You have to stay, you have to show respect to the other players, to the fans that came, you still belong to the club, you signed for it, you have to play for them, didn’t make any mistakes, they want to keep you so the only thing you have to say is at least sit on the bench and wait until the end of the game.”
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