Cristiano Ronaldo will begin the season on the bench for Manchester United as Erik ten Hag confirmed the team's front three.

Man Utd's newly appointed manager Ten Hag seemingly wants to stick with the front three who played well on the team's pre-season tour. The players include Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, which means CR7 could be benched in the club's upcoming game with Brighton.

The former Ajax boss insisted that that the move had been planned due to Ronaldo's lack of match fitness. It seems that the Portuguese footballer has still not proven enough to secure a starting spot against Brighton on Sunday. According to The Sun, the 37-year-old forward is expected to have a "humiliating stint" on the bench.

Ronaldo was caught in what appeared to be a disagreement with Ten Hag on the touchline during their last game. He then left Old Trafford before full-time; Ronald did not stay to hear the United manager's post-match debrief.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner missed out on United's pre-season tour in Bangkok and Australia due to family reasons. He has played just 45 minutes since then – during the team's Sunday's draw with Rayo Vallecano as speculation continues regarding his plan to leave Old Trafford to play in the Champions League in the upcoming season.

Ronaldo has been unable to find a new team despite being linked with several high-profile European squads. He had crunch talks with Ten Hag and other United key officials as all of them tried to encourage Ronaldo to stay and extend his contract with the team. United are refusing to release him or even name a price for the player. Meanwhile, Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes is still determined to continue his search for a new club for his client. Ronaldo firmly wants a transfer just 12 months after his return from Juventus. Ronaldo's future remains uncertain.

Ten Hag is currently focusing on his first competitive game, insisting his team are ready to start their campaign. On Aug. 22, Red Devils are set for a match against Liverpool before they close the month and travel to Southampton.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on July 31, 2022 in Manchester, England. Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

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