Despite benching Cristiano Ronaldo in recent weeks, Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United want to keep him.
The wanted striker was left out of the starting XI against Liverpool and Southampton, fueling speculation of a move to Sporting CP or Napoli as he seeks a return to the Champions League.
“We played with him,” United manager Ten Hag told reporters. As a result, we want him to stay. That is what we desire. I’m hoping so.”
When asked if he would be pleased if United did not add to their forwards this week, Ten Hag stated, “We have Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, so then we are okay.”
Ronaldo was one of three substitutions made by Ten Hag at St Mary’s, with Anthony Elanga replaced by new signing Casemiro in the 80th minute and Fred replaced by Christian Eriksen in second-half stoppage time.
Casemiro completed his transfer from Real Madrid on Monday, and his new manager was delighted to have him on board.
“I think it was very beneficial for him to see what the Premier League is about, its different style,” Ten Hag remarked.
“He has played some games, he played 90 minutes once, but he is fit, he had a good pre-season with a lot of training sessions, and now we have to integrate him in a team, in a style of play, and with his teammates.”