Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo Joins Juventus Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly been pining to leave Manchester United all summer, but to no avail. And now it has emerged that boss Erik ten Hag has assured the 37-year-old that his time to start for Old Trafford will come after benching him for the third match in succession.

According to Mirror, the footballer watched most of the Man Utd's 1-0 win against Leicester City on Thursday from the dugout alongside Ten Hag.

But it is said that the Red Devils boss still has Ronaldo firmly in his plans. The footballer was given a 26-minute cameo which helped the club secure their third successive Premier League victory.

When asked about naming the five-time Ballon d'Or winner on the bench once again, Ten Hag said that it is "really early in the season." He noted that they have a squad, "more than a starting XI. We are raising a team, they are sticking together, they fight for each other, cooperate. Now we have to step up further."

Given Ronaldo's desire to score as many goals as possible and not spend most of his time on the bench, his situation is still a precarious one. According to Manchester Evening News, Ronaldo might not be Ten Hag's flavor of the week right now. Still, the role he has to play in United's squad this season will be more important than ever. Ronald, who scored 18 goals in the league last season, might see his name back in the starting XI a lot sooner than expected.

The club now has a handful of versatile footballers in the final-third that can play in multiple positions. This makes many wonder as to how Ronaldo gets back into the starting XI, and the Portuguese footballer might not have to wait as long as some might think.

Speaking during his time at Ajax on his philosophy behind guaranteed starters, Ten Hag said, "But no one is, in my book (a guaranteed starter). And I told them this. There is a hierarchy, yes, but whether you are 19 or 29, you play when you’re the best for the position."

On Wednesday, Ten Hag, who has always insisted that he wants to keep Ronaldo in the club, confirmed that the athlete will remain a part of the team.

Talksport reported that the only formal approach that Ronaldo received was from Saudi Arabia side Al Hilal. Their proposal was described as "obscene."

File photo of Erik Ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo
Ajax's Dutch coach Erik Ten Hag (L) congratulates Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo after he opened the scoring during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match Juventus vs Ajax Amsterdam on April 16, 2019 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. Photo by Isabella Bonotto/AFP via Getty Images

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