Manchester United linked with Cristiano Ronaldo
A report by The Express mentions that talks of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United are ‘gathering pace’ and that Juventus want the Portuguese gone in order to balance the books. Ronaldo left United in 2009 to join Real Madrid and from there, made the journey to Juventus.
But with Andrea Pirlo now gone and Juventus barely making the top-4 last season, Ronaldo is being tipped to leave Juventus. According to The Athletic (Subscription required) [h/t The Express], he has one year left on his current contract and Juventus want to sell him because of the financial strains of keeping him on their books for another 12 months.
The negatives outweigh the positives
It would be wrong of anyone to start an article such as this without mentioning the positives of United signing Ronaldo. The biggest one would be the superstar factor that Ronaldo will bring to United, with him being one of the biggest names in world football.
Apart from that, he can still score! Ronaldo won the Capocannoniere after scoring 29 times in the league this season. But still, the negatives of signing Ronaldo should make United consider other options. To begin with, Ronaldo will cost a pretty penny. The Portuguese superstar joined the Old Lady for £99million.
His ‘gross salary and the amortisation of his contract’ costs Juventus around £68million a year. A player who earns that much is not a cheap option for any club, even if he agrees to take a pay cut. The report adds that it is likely Juve want to balance his ‘book value on their accounts’.
The age factor
Good or bad, everything comes to an end. Even though Ronaldo’s fitness is impeccable (after all, he was the top scorer in the league for Juventus last season and was a regular feature), he cannot keep playing forever. The former Madrid winger is already 36 years old. With time, he has also stopped playing down the wings and now plays as a traditional No.9.
When you’re spending a decent amount of money, as we mentioned above, you would want it to go towards a player that can be at the club for a long spell. In this regard, a better option would be to go all out for someone like Jadon Sancho, who is available for £77million and is just 21 years old, 15 years younger than Ronaldo. United lack a seasoned right-winger anyway. One look at their squad should tell you that!
An already stacked attack
Given Ronaldo’s stature, there’s no chance he would accept a non-regular role. But United already have a loaded attack. Anthony Martial already plays as a No.9 with Edinson Cavani flourishing for the Red Devils of late.
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Apart from that, the club has young Mason Greenwood coming through. Marcus Rashford, too can play as a No.9. In this regard, it seems that the money that United would spend on Ronaldo could be better utilized on a player who fills a position with not much depth available.
Plus, Ronaldo’s outlook as a team player has been questioned with Italy legend Antonio Cassano labelling Ronaldo a ‘selfish player’ earlier in the season, someone who doesn’t care about his teammates scoring (h/t Tuttomercatoweb via The Sun). So it seems like United would benefit more from pursuing other options rather than circling aimlessly around Ronaldo.