Cristiano Ronaldo drops new Manchester United selection hint to Erik ten Hag

Speculation over Ronaldo continues to mount after the five-time Ballon d'Or winner expressed a desire to leave United, only 12 months after his sensational return to the club. Several teams including Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea distanced themselves with a high-profile move for him.

Ronaldo finally returned to pre-season after the summer tour to Thailand and Australia and played in the pre-season clash against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday afternoon. It was his first appearance since last season and United are now gearing up for their Premier League curtain raiser.

Ten Hag has hinted that the Brighton game may come too soon for Ronaldo as he continues to play catch-up with his teammates in terms of match fitness. But after being spotted during their latest session this morning, the former Real Madrid striker has dropped a hint over his fitness in a message posted on Instagram.

Addressing his 473million followers on the social media platform, he uploaded pictures from the session and added a short caption which featured 'prayer' and 'strong arms' emojis. It read: “Step by step.”

Speaking about Ronaldo to Viaplay before his first summer appearance, Ten Hag said: “He will be in the squad. We'll see how long he can play [against Rayo Vallecano].