Erik ten Hag insists Cristiano Ronaldo will play a key role for him at Manchester United next season, describing the player as ‘a giant’.

The incoming head coach has ended his Ajax tenure early, in order to get a head start on rebuilding the Red Devils.

Ronaldo has been described by ten Hag as ‘a giant’getty

Ten Hag will leave Ajax to take over at Manchester UnitedGetty

While Ten Hag’s reign won’t officially start until the current Premier League season ends, the Dutchman has plenty of work to do as he looks to oversee a radical transformation of the playing squad and will begin his preparations this week.

Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are among those certain to move on, while a number of other players have been linked with a possible exit.

Despite scoring 24 goals for United this term, Ronaldo has been tipped as one player who could make way this summer, but according to ten Hag, the 37-year-old’s status cannot be questioned.

Speaking after his final match with Ajax on Sunday, Ten Hag told De Telegraaf: “Ronaldo is a giant, because of what he’s already shown and I think he’s still very ambitious.

“Of course I would like to keep him. He’s been very important to Manchester United this year and can produce great statistics.”

Ronaldo’s goals have spared United’s blushes so far this seasonGetty

Ten Hag has a huge task on his hand at UnitedAFP

Ronaldo also had some positive words to say about Ten Hag in an interview with Manchester United’s official website.

He said: “What I know about him is he did a fantastic job for Ajax, that he’s an experienced coach.

“But we need to give him time. Things need to change the way he wants.

“I hope we have success, of course, because, if you have success, all of Manchester is going to have success as well. I wish him the best.

“We are happy and excited, not only as players, but the supporters as well.

“I wish him the best and let’s believe that, next year, we are going to win trophies.”


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