One of Cristiano Ronaldo and Ralf Rangnick won’t be at Manchester United next season, with a report explaining why change is afoot.
The Red Devils will embark on what could be one of the most important summers in the club’s recent history in a few short months. United appear to have fallen even further behind bitter rivals Man City and Liverpool this season. If they are to bridge the gap in the coming years, their decision making will have to be on point this summer.
Regarding player personnel, wholesale changes could be made, not least in the forward line.
Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani are all expected to leave as free agents. It’s been speculated Mata could in fact be retained, though as a member of the coaching staff.
A decision will have to be made on the long-term future of loanee Anthony Martial. United opted against including an option to buy during negotiations with Sevilla.
That was to allow their next permament manager the final say on what to do with the Frenchman.
But perhaps the biggest decision of all could centre on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo in, Rangnick out?
The Portuguese icon, 37, has shone in spells since returning to Manchester. Indeed, his sublime hattrick against Tottenham last week was a timely reminder of what he can produce.
However, if United are to take their rebuild seriously, cutting Ronaldo loose after just one year must be considered. And with Champions League qualification hanging by a thread, Ronaldo may wish to seek pastures new anyway.
Is Ronaldo really the problem at Manchester United?
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Now, Spanish outlet AS have provided an update on what the future holds for Ronaldo, as well as Ralf Rangnick.
They state the relationship between the pair had soured, leading to speculation Ronaldo could make way. The striker was curiously absent from the derby clash with Man City earlier this month, with Rangnick’s hip flexor injury explanation not convincing all.
However, it’s noted it will be Rangnick – not Ronaldo – that is axed. The German has a further two years left to run on his contract and was expected to take up a consultancy role behind the scenes.
If AS’ report is accurate, Rangnick won’t even see out the current campaign.
And with Rangnick moving on in that scenario, it’s claimed Ronaldo will be retained. The player is deemed ‘confident’ United’s hierarchy will make the right call with who they appoint next.
Erik Ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino are the two candidates drawing the strongest links.
Key to the club’s apparent decisions over Ronaldo and Rangnick is the recent defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Rangnick is seemingly the one carrying the can for the early Champions League exit. That is a sentiment also shared by club legend Paul Scholes.