Manchester United have been linked with a move for Cristiano Ronaldo after news broke this week that the superstar Real Madrid forward has already had his first bust-up with new manager Rafa Benitez.
Ronaldo slammed Benitez’s training methods during Real’s pre-season tour of Australia after the Spaniard ordered his squad to play the crossbar challenge, with the Portuguese forward seen on Spanish TV murmuring that the idea is to get the ball in the net, “not this s***”.
Ronaldo also fumed at decisions that went against him and his Portuguese team-mates when Benitez was refereeing a training game, and the early dispute between the pair has triggered suggestions that the 30-year-old could be on his way back to Old Trafford.
But here’s 5 reasons why the move will not go through this summer.
Real would be foolish to sell their best player
When you’re attempting to overhaul old rivals Barcelona in both the La Liga and Champions League, the last thing you go and do is sell your best player – not just of the current Real squad but in the club’s history. Ronaldo’s strike rate of 313 goals in exactly 300 appearances is unrivalled in Madrid, and with Real having to play second fiddle to Barcelona over the years, club president Florentino Perez may not make it out of the Bernabeu alive if he were to give the green light for Ronaldo to leave.Ronaldo will cost nearly £100m
Having cost £80m back in 2009, United would be forced to pay in excess of that fee to bring Ronaldo back to Manchester given the increase in transfer fees and his standing as the best player in the world due to his back-to-back Ballon d’Or successes. With United considering the sale of Angel Di Maria to generate more than £50m, United would certainly have the funds to make such a move, but whether they would be willing to spend that much money on a player whose best years may just be behind him would remain uncertain.
No one could replace Ronaldo this summer
Is there anyone who could replace Ronaldo at Real? There’s certainly one option, but Barcelona are about as likely to sell Lionel Messi to Real as they are Ronaldo to their arch-rivals. Gareth Bale was brought in for a fee higher than Real paid for Ronaldo, but he has so far failed to match the extraordinary standards set by the Portuguese international, and in the current transfer market there are very few – if any – players that could achieve what Ronaldo has done.
United need player sales from their rapidly expanding squad
Having made four key signings already this season, United suddenly have an abundance of talent in certain areas of the field. The left wing position suddenly appears one of strength for United with Memphis Depay likely to make the position his own this season. Van Gaal has other options in Di Maria and Juan Mata, while Ashley Young made the place his own earlier this year as he ousted club record signing Di Maria following a string of impressive performances. Should Ronaldo come in to the side, he could be deployed as a central striker though his former life at United saw him excel on the left of midfield.
The dispute between Benitez and Ronaldo has been blown out of proportion
Was it really that bad? We all know Ronaldo is about the most competitive person on the planet – just see his tears at Euro 2006 or his many, many outbursts at his team-mates on the pitch. Benitez noted this competitive streak as a positive in his press conference earlier this week, and seemed unmoved by Ronaldo’s words during training. If Ronaldo speaks out to the media are those close to him, then a move may really be on the cards, but until then all of this is mere speculation and United fans shouldn’t allow themselves to get excited…yet.
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