Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says the club are “looking to the future” following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old was disciplined by Ten Hag after he failed to come on as a substitute in United’s 2-0 win against Tottenham in October.
Speaking for the first time since Ronaldo’s exit at a training camp in Spain, Ten Hag says Ronaldo’s controversial exit is in the past.
“He’s gone and it’s the past,” Ten Hag said.
“We are now looking forward and we’re looking to the future.”
Ronaldo’s departure means United will likely look to bring in a new striker in the January transfer window.
In the same interview, Ten Hag also spoke of the importance of wanting the “right characters” in his dressing room.
“We looked and with football players clearly that is the first thing, the capabilities a player has,” said the Dutchman.
“The human being behind is also an important factor, but you can’t underestimate that. You need the right characters in your dressing room, not only if you want to win a game but if you want to win trophies.”
United will play friendlies against Cadiz on Wednesday and Real Betis on Saturday as they prepare to return to competitive action against Burnley in the EFL Cup on December 21.
Ten Hag says he wants his players to be fitter than before the World Cup break.
He said: “If we see the season so far, especially in the front line, we didn’t always have the players available.
“When they were available, they were not always capable of being at the right fitness levels to compete.
“This is an important objective: to fill that gap, to close that gap [so] that we are better after the winter, in the restart.
“[The aim is] to be better and to compete and to match the fitness levels in the Premier League and in the top four.”
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