Erik ten Hag has given further indication that Cristiano Ronaldo is set to stay with Manchester United, with the incoming manager hailing him as a "giant" he is looking forward to working with.
Ronaldo's future has been up in the air following a poor season that saw the Red Devils slip out of Champions League contention and extend their trophyless run to five years, coupled with a managerial switch from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to Ralf Rangnick.
But Ten Hag, who is set to arrive in Manchester from Ajax this week, now seems to suggest that Ronaldo's place at Old Trafford is safer than anticipated, hinting that he hopes to use the star's ambition in his plans.
What has Ten Hag said about Ronaldo's future?
"I look forward to working with him," Ten Hag told Dutch outlet De Telegraaf when asked about the Portuguese forward's future.
"Ronaldo is a giant. Because of what he's already shown and I think he's still very ambitious. Of course I'd like to keep him.
"He has been very important for Man Utd this year [and he] can produce great statistics."
What has Ronaldo said about staying at Man Utd?
With no Champions League football next term, speculation had been strong that the forward could cut short his Old Trafford homecoming one season into a two-year deal.
But Ronaldo hinted at his own stay in an interview with United's official website, when he wished the incoming Dutchman luck in his new position.
"I wish him the best and let's believe that, next year, we are going to win trophies," he said.
Coupled with an apparent leak that showed Ronaldo sporting the club's purported 2022-23 strip ahead of an official reveal, it seems that he may team with Ten Hag next season in an attempt to help reverse their flagging fortunes rather than abandoning ship.