As reported by the Mirror, Cristiano Ronaldo is said to have held private talks with his mentor Sir Alex Ferguson over his future at Manchester United. The Red Devils gave a disgraceful performance against Brighton last weekend and were humiliated by four goals to nil.
It is important to note that the Red Devils are struggling in all areas of the pitch at the moment. Rangnick has mentioned the need to replace 10-11 players in this summer transfer window. This was not the case at the start of the season. The return of Ronaldo and marquee signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane were made to ensure a chance to fight for the Premier League title.
The Portuguese forward has been influential; scoring 24 goals in 38 games across all competitions, but seems to be lacking support from his teammates. This will be United’s worst points tally and defensive record in the Premier League era and new manager Erik Ten Hag has a difficult rebuild in his hands.
The Mirror report states that Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson have met each other at their homes on several occasions this season and despite United’s struggles, it’s understood that Ferguson has told his former prodigy to see out his deal with the club.
Sir Alex Ferguson was the manager who signed Cristiano Ronaldo for United in 2003 and was also part of the negotiations that brought him back to the club this season. During his time at Manchester under the Scotsman, the former Real Madrid man had won a remarkable list of trophies:
- 3x Premier League
- 1x Champions League
- 1x FA Cup
- 1x FIFA Club World Cup
- 3x League Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo always says that he will never forget the compassion shown to him by Sir Alex Ferguson, before his father’s passing in 2005. Ronaldo would go on to enjoy the next six seasons at Manchester United, where he made 292 appearances and bagged 118 goals for the Red Devils (stats via Transfermarkt).
He had very successful spells at Real Madrid and Juventus before making his return to Old Trafford. Arguably, the most stunning statistic in a career littered with unbelievable achievements, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 60 career hat-tricks, among his ludicrous overall total of 813 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Performance on Return to Old Trafford
The Portugal player has scored 24 goals in all competitions this season and is one of the top contenders for the Premier League Golden Boot against Salah and Son. In a season where United have struggled in all departments, it is remarkable how Ronaldo has managed to reach this tally. In every game where the 37-year-old has struggled to have an impact, the Red Devils have had a disappointing result.
Cristiano Ronaldo's stats in the league this season compared to the other two topscorers.👀 pic.twitter.com/mEhU0BXLCX
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) May 7, 2022
Ronaldo looked a frustrated figure once again in United’s defeat to Brighton and was even spotted laughing after his side conceded their third goal before the hour mark. As a player well past his prime years, he has faced criticism for not tracking back and offering little to support the attack outside of scoring.
Without his goals, United would have been out of the Champions League in the group stages and would not be even competing in the top-six this season. Ronaldo signed an initial two-year contract with United last transfer window and has the option to extend for an additional 12 months, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is already considering his future.
Manchester United’s Poor Form
Manchester United have been undergoing massive changes at the board level which has affected the overall functioning of the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked after a disastrous loss to Watford. Even interim manager Ralf Rangnick has struggled to implement his philosophy into the squad. With nothing much to look forward to this season in terms of trophies and qualifications, the board decided to appoint Erik ten Hag to ensure he has ample time to settle and work with the squad.
United have tried 5-6 different defensive pairings this season for the centre-back position. The one used against Brighton was Varane and Victor Lindelof, who were thoroughly exposed alongside Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot. There was excitement among the United fans when it was announced that four-time UCL winner Raphael Varane would be joining Manchester United to provide support to Maguire and Lindelof.
However, the defensive issues are yet to be resolved, with the team shipping 56 goals and still having a game left. This season will also be a black mark with United’s lowest points tally of 64 points as a best-case scenario. Without David de Gea’s last-ditch saves and Ronaldo’s goals, United could have been hanging in the mid-table positions.
The revival of De Gea is a reason to celebrate but the fact that he has had to make so many crucial saves is an insult to the defence. Rangnick has confirmed the lack of team bonding and leadership within the dressing room. If Maguire is stripped of his captaincy and allowed to just concentrate on his centre-back role, we might see a revival.
On paper, Manchester United seem to have a strong squad, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, and David de Gea. Yet the side continues to struggle because of poor recruitment by the board.
In the upcoming transfer window, United need some heavy spending with rivals City, Liverpool and Chelsea all expected to get in reinforcements. Kalvin Philips, Frenkie De Jong, Jude Bellingham and Darwin Nunez are all part of the initial shortlist. They have to spend in all areas of the team during this window to have a chance of winning a trophy next season.
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United have become a commercial club over the last several years under the Glazers. This is slowly deteriorating the club and a toxic atmosphere has developed between the board and fans. It will be the fifth time in 30 years that they will not play in the Champions League and they could even miss out on the Europa League, dropping into the third-tier Europa Conference League.
Ronaldo has so far stayed quiet on his future while incoming manager Erik ten Hag replaces interim boss Ralf Rangnick and takes the hot seat this summer. The star gave a clue during the post-match interview after the Brentford game that he may stick around to see if he will play a role in Ten Hag’s vision for a competent United future.
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