The Cristiano Ronaldo saga has taken an interesting twist, with Manchester United now expected to retain the attacker after he awkwardly struggled to find a new suitor. In a report published by Daily Telegraph, it appears Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag is even considering asking the Red Devils to trigger an extension clause in Ronaldo’s contract.

The Portuguese international had initially joined the club last summer on a two-year deal until 2023. But if Manchester United trigger the extension clause, Ronaldo could be contractually bound to the club until 2024, which may not only improve Manchester United’s chances of keeping the striker but also fetch a better price for the player.

After a season of disappointment, the confidence was low inside the Manchester United camp. With the Red Devils missing out on a top-four finish, it did not take Ronaldo long to reportedly hand in a transfer request. The attacker has subsequently missed the club’s pre-season tours in Thailand and Australia for personal terms. But despite Ronaldo’s reluctance in continuing at Manchester United, the new coach Erik ten Hag is determined to keep him around. The Dutchman even wants to build his team around the Portuguese international next season while hinting at his desire to extend Ronaldo’s contract.

Ten Hag’s comments are enough to showcase the Dutchman’s desire to have Ronaldo at his disposal next season, especially at a time when Manchester United have already parted ways with Edinson Cavani while missing out on targets such as Darwin Nunez.

Hence, it is going to be imperative for the club to keep hold of Ronaldo. The veteran frontman was the club’s top goalscorer last season, plundering 24 goals in all competitions. His lethal nature in front of goal could be critical for Manchester United once again next season, as they look to compete for the Premier League title.