Erik ten Hag ‘not considering’ Ralf Rangnick’s Ronaldo replacement

Erik ten Hag to 'deal with' Ronaldo early exit down tunnel

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Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrick Schick emerged as a striker target who Manchester United scouted when Ralf Rangnick served his stint as interim manager last season. However, Erik ten Hag apparently has other ideas ahead of inevitably having to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in his squad.

Schick caught the eye with a phenomenal 2021/22 campaign, scoring 24 goals in 31 games in all competitions. However, he has yet to start the new season in the same ilk and is, for now, off the agenda at United since Ten Hag became manager and took charge of recruitment.

In his latest CaughtOffside column, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano tipped Schick as an enticing option for Premier League giants like the Red Devils. However, he poured cold water on reports suggesting United had reignited their interest in the 26-year-old.

He said: “There’s some talk again of Patrik Schick being an option for Manchester United. He was one of the players scouted under Ralf Rangnick, but now there are still no contacts ongoing. I think he’s a very talented player, but he needs to be more consistent. For sure, he could be a good option for many big clubs in the Premier League.”

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Ronaldo has endured a miserable season at United, condemned to the bench more often than not as Ten Hag continues to favour a more fluid attack. And his situation reached a boiling point last week as he refused to come on in the 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur before walking out of Old Trafford before full-time.

The incident, and Ronaldo’s punishment that followed, only fuelled suggestions that a January exit could be on the cards. But Romano has revealed that after positive talks with Ten Hag, the 37-year-old striker apologised and is now back in contention for selection.

“Cristiano understood it was not the best way to act,” Romano explained. “It’s important to mention he’s now back in contention for the first team; we will see him get an opportunity again. He’s 100 per cent available. But what happened with his talks with Ten Hag? I’m told they have been in constant, direct contact, and it was positive.

“Ronaldo was really sorry, but also Ten Hag understood the player wanted to be involved more. They spoke about it, they had multiple conversations, and they decided to shake hands, and now Ronaldo is back in the United first team.”


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