The future of Cristiano Ronaldo is once again uncertain, and with the years winding down on his career, the rumours grow ever stronger that a return to Manchester or Madrid may be on the cards.
This week that’s increased significantly, with Carlo Ancelotti rumoured to be keen on bringing the Portuguese legend back to the Bernabeu, while his agent Jorge Mendes has also offered the player to Manchester City, a side of Manchester no Red Devil would want to see him go. But should he return to Old Trafford?
A Return to Manchester?
News outlets are suggesting that there is a slim chance he could return to Old Trafford this summer, and he’d certainly lift the place, in a similar way to the way Edinson Cavani has, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had prior. With Ronaldo, it is of course different though.
Returning to the club he left over a decade ago would be the perfect final chapter of an extraordinary career. He learned his craft at the Premier League club, not only becoming one of the world’s great players, but also maturing as an adult.
Under Ferguson and United’s senior players, he learned what it was like to be a top pro, to live away from home. In fact, he even adopted British culture, taking part in many off-the-field activities, like bingo tournaments for an example.
Now, we’re not necessarily saying Ronaldo will bring bingo back to Old Trafford, but he would bring back the wealth of experience and strict training regimes that would really set an example to United’s flourishing young players. Which could prove invaluable.
Disrupting The Balance
Of course, there’s also the risk of upsetting the applecart. Ronaldo will require big wages, which at the age of 36 could cause problems among the younger star players, although the respect many will have for him returning could balance that out.
There’s then the balance of the squad. Mason Greenwood played in that central position in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s opening game against Leeds United to great effect, while what would it mean for Edinson Cavani?
Cavani was persuaded to remain at the club for an additional year, and it would be a bitter blow if he’s kept on the bench for another ageing superstar.
The Right Or Wrong Move?
The romance in any Manchester United or neutral fan is that a return to the red side of Manchester is a no-brainer. It’s the perfect end to an incredible career. But questions would certainly be asked if he did join. United are rebuilding. In the likes of Marcus Rashford, Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, and even Bruno Fernandes they have a young, hungry attacking line. Shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to prove their worth and build partnerships and relationships.
There’s perhaps no right or wrong answer to this one. Ronaldo would still be a worthwhile asset at Old Trafford. It would arguably be a move from the heart, and at this point in Ole’s rebuild, should he be spending money with his head?