Ole Gunnar Solskajer signed Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo in a bid for immediate success at Manchester United this summer, but it may cost them in the long-term
Although signing Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer was a short-term fix to Manchester United’s goal-scoring woes, they may live to regret the decision due to bring back the decorated superstar.
After 12 years away, the Portuguese forward returned to Old Trafford this summer for £12million from Juventus on a two-year deal, with the option of a one-year extension.
Ronaldo initially joined the Red Devils in 2003 and spent six years at the club, growing from a raw talent into one of the best in the league.
He then made the switch to Real Madrid for £80m, where he asserted himself as one of the best players ever and won numerous trophies before leaving to conquer the Serie A with Juve.
Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford has created a massive buzz around the club, however, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may soon begin to reconsider the decision to sign his former team-mate in two to three years when the 36-year-old’s contract expires.
That is because Ronaldo’s presence at the club may prevent United from signing Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
Manchester Evening News reported in August that Solskjaer and United football director John Murtough had agreed that the sought-after striker is one of their main long-term transfer targets.
However, their pursuit of Haaland may have taken a major blow as Marca have revealed that the former Molde striker is only willing to sign for a club if he has the guarantee of being the ‘main man’.
The report goes on to say: “ Haaland’s slogan is clear and resounding: ‘I want to be the reference, the player to follow.’ The Norwegian seeks to feel like a leader, surrounded by a powerful team.”
Therefore, the signing of Ronaldo could be a major hindrance.
Will Manchester United still be able to sign Erling Haaland? Comment below.
Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
As a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and one of the best ever, all eyes will be on Ronaldo for as long as he continues to play, which raises questions as to whether Haaland would be happy to be out of the limelight until the 36-year-old retires.
Ronaldo has scored three goals in four Premier League appearances since returning to England and has given the United faithful a sense of club that they may be able to win a piece of silverware this season.
However, although he is flourishing now, at some point the forward’s career will come to an end and Solskjaer’s side will need a focal point.
Haaland would be the perfect fit, but being just 21 years old now, he may want to find a club where he can settle and become one of the best in the world, rather than being on the move twice in quick succession.
The forward is expected to leave Dortmund next summer after it was reported earlier this year that he has a £68m release clause in his contract that becomes active in June 2022.
Signing the forward for that cut-price figure, as he would cost comfortably more than £100m normally, would be a great coup for United and give them a player to spearhead their attack for years upon years. But whether he is willing to be a backing dancer to Ronaldo for the next few seasons remains to be seen.