Erik ten Hag has described Cristiano Ronaldo as ‘a giant’ as he prepares to begin work with Manchester United on Monday.
The 52-year-old took charge of his final game with Ajax on Sunday as they drew 2-2 with Vitesse to end their title-winning Eredivisie campaign.
Ten Hag has confirmed that he will not be travelling with Ajax’s squad for their post-season trip to Curacao this week and will instead begin preparations with United ahead of next season.
Meanwhile, speculation over Ronaldo’s future at United has grown in recent months following the club’s woeful end to the season, but Ten Hag has indicated that he is keen for the 37-year-old to remain part of his squad.
‘From tomorrow, my focus will be on United, and I will of course get deep into things there,’ Ten Hag said after his final game with Ajax on Sunday.
‘What I have to say about it is, the detailed analysis still has to begin, I still have to work with the team, but let me be clear that at United there are a lot of good players around.
‘We have to make them function as a team but definitely Ronaldo, he is a giant.’
Ronaldo has also suggested that he is willing to remain at United, despite their failure to secure a place in next season’s Champions League, but has insisted Ten Hag will need time to make an impact.
‘What I know about him is he did a fantastic job for Ajax, that he’s an experienced coach,’ Ronaldo said in an interview with United over the weekend.
‘But we need to give him time. Things need to change the way he wants.
‘I hope we have success, of course, because, if you have success, all of Manchester is going to have success as well. I wish him the best.
‘We are happy and excited, not only as players, but the supporters as well.
‘I wish him the best and let’s believe that, next year, we are going to win trophies.’
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