ERIK TEN HAG dropped a huge hint he will keep “giant” Cristiano Ronaldo.
The new Manchester United boss hailed the Portuguese star, 37, after drawing his final game in charge of Ajax.
Ten Hag, 52, will miss an end-of-season Ajac trip to start work at United early this week and wants Ronnie to stay put.
He said: “At United, there are a lot of good players. We have to make them function as a team, but definitely Ronaldo — he is a giant.”
Ronaldo, who was pictured on a Cheshire golf course in short shorts on Sunday, said last week: “What I know about [Ten Hag] 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.”
Ten Hag revealed he will not travel to Ajax’s trip to Curacao in order to start work at Old Trafford immediately.
With so much to do to sort out the shambles at United, the Dutchman wants to get going as quickly as possible.
He added: “Tomorrow there will be a party with the staff, but I am not going to Curacao.
“I think that’s understandable. There is a lot of work to do there. That is the case with every club.
“A number of things still need to be organised in the staff and also in the selection.
“We will be working intensively on this from tomorrow.”
In the 2-2 draw with Vitesse, Ajax striker Brian Brobbey slotted a shot under keeper Markus Schubert to open the scoring 15 minutes in.
Lois Openda’s quick-fire double, both from close range, after half-time put the hosts ahead.
But Mexico midfield ace Edson Alvarez headed in from a corner with three minutes of normal time remaining to extend Ajax’s unbeaten league run to ten games.
Ten Hag applauded the travelling fans after the match as he said goodbye for the final time.