Manchester United eager to clarify Cristiano Ronaldo’s position

Manchester United will seek clarity from Cristiano Ronaldo this week about when he can start training with Erik ten Hag’s squad with time running out for the new manager to integrate the forward into his plans for the start of the new campaign.

With two weeks left before Brighton’s visit to Old Trafford on 7 August for the season opener the 37-year-old, who wants to leave the club, has yet to work under Ten Hag. A family issue prevented Ronaldo from commencing training in the lead-up to United’s fortnight summer tour of Thailand and Australia, making him miss the trip.

Ten Hag is keen to involve Ronaldo in his plans as soon as possible. Yet with Monday a rest day after the squad flew home on a 20-hour flight via Bangkok immediately after their final tour match – a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa in Perth – time is short for the manager to prepare the forward for the season.

United fly to Oslo to face Atlético Madrid on Saturday, before Ten Hag oversees his first home game on Sunday and the final pre-season friendly, against Rayo Vallecano.

United have been respectful of Ronaldo’s need to be at home and the manager said on Friday he has still not had any communication with the Portuguese while away. But Ronaldo will now be asked when he feels able to start training. Even if this was to be as early as Tuesday, Ten Hag has suggested he may not be able to play Ronaldo against Brighton due to his lack of preparation.

In missing all of United’s pre-season so far Ronaldo is four weeks behind those who first returned to training at the end of last month. After Brighton, United travel to Brentford the following weekend before hosting Liverpool on 23 August.