MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo is unlikely to start for Manchester United against Chelsea on Saturday and he is still dominating the buildup.
The unused substitute left the Old Trafford stands and headed to the changing rooms before the end of the English Premier League win against Tottenham on Wednesday and United manager Erik ten Hag said he would “deal with” Ronaldo.
The incident overshadowed one of United’s best performances of the season, and underlined again that Ronaldo’s most significant contributions are happening away from the field.
United’s preseason was clouded in uncertainty over whether he would stay, or leave for a club competing in the Champions League.
He did not join the rest of squad on its tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue, and when he did return to action in July he was among players who departed Old Trafford halfway through a friendly against Rayo Vallecano.
His clear frustration after United’s humiliating 4-0 loss at Brentford in August was caught on camera as he appeared to walk toward away fans and turn away gesticulating.
The latest episode left a frustrated Ten Hag fielding questions again for which he had no answers.
“I don’t pay attention today,” Ten Hag said after the match. “We deal with that tomorrow. I want to keep the focus on this team. It was a magnificent performance from all the 11 players.”