Man Utd 'close in' on deal for ten Hag as new manager
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Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted Manchester United need a new striker at a time where Erik ten Hag is poised to take charge, it has been claimed. The Ajax boss is in pole position to land the job at Old Trafford. And, if he does, he’ll become their fifth managerial appointment in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013.
United are primed to overhaul their squad should Ten Hag take charge, with the Red Devils planning for a brighter future.
And Fabrizio Romano, speaking to The United Stand, has claimed Ronaldo accepts the team require a new striker.
It’s claimed that the Portugal international, who is approaching the twilight years of his career at the age of 37, knows he can’t play every single Premier League game.
That’s despite him stropping on occasions when he’s been substituted by both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term.
And Ronaldo knows United need a new centre-forward to compete with him for a starting berth.
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The former Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid and Juventus star supposedly wants to feel ‘important’ under the club’s next manager.
And all signs are pointing to that being Ten Hag.
The Ajax boss was initially behind Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino in the race for the Old Trafford hotseat at the time of Solskjaer’s sacking in November.
Yet things have changed since then and it’s the 52-year-old who is likeliest to be managing Ronaldo next season.
United believe their managerial process is going well, with the club hopeful of confirming an appointment before the end of the season.
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And they’re hopeful they can improve going forward, despite the struggles of this season.
When it comes to potential striker targets, several players have been linked.
United are admirers of Darwin Nunez, with the Benfica star scoring a remarkable 31 goals from 36 appearances this term.
Alexander Isak has emerged as a potential target amid an expectancy the Sweden international will leave Real Sociedad in the summer.
And United have also been tipped to pursue Harry Kane, even if Tottenham’s improvement under Antonio Conte makes a transfer difficult to broker.
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Ronaldo, certainly, will be praying United can get their act together and get back to where they used to be.
They’re currently primed to miss out on Champions League qualification for the first time since 2019, sitting seventh in the table.
And Ronaldo couldn’t contain his anger as United slumped to a nightmare 1-0 defeat to Everton on Saturday afternoon.
The veteran allegedly slapped a phone out of a young supporter’s hand after the final whistle at Goodison Park.
And Ronaldo took to Instagram to apologise for his actions following the contest.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,” he wrote.
“Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.
“I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.”
Ronaldo will be hopeful of starting when United face off against Norwich on Saturday.
The Red Devils won 1-0 against the same opposition earlier in the season, with their No 7 scoring the winner from the penalty spot.
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