Man Utd have been rated 100 percent likely to sign a new centre-forward this summer, and a report has detailed what that means for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Red Devils will enter a new era this summer with Erik ten Hag takes the reins. Overhauling the club’s culture will be a high priority, though the turnover of players will be what catches most fans’ eyes.
Indeed, a plethora of players are poised to leave Old Trafford in the coming months.
Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba will all depart as free agents. Nemanja Matic too will leave for free after an option for a further 12 months wasn’t triggered.
Additions at centre-half, central midfield and up front have all been touted. In essence, Manchester United are seeking an entirely new spine of their team.
At the tip of the spine at present is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese icon has come in for criticism this season for what he doesn’t do off the ball.
However, while in possession, Ronaldo remains a potent force and nine goals in his last six matches show he can still withstand the rigours of a full season despite being 37.
Now, writing in a column for CaughtOffside, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has shed light on what the future holds for Romano.
Ronaldo will accept strong competition
Firstly, the trusted journalist insisted United are 100 percent likely to sign a new centre-forward this summer. However, rather than to replace Ronaldo, Romano reckons it will be to compliment.
He noted Ronaldo’s hope remains to see out his Old Trafford contract. He has another year left to run after this season and the club hold an option for an extra 12 months beyond that.
It’s acknowledged incoming boss Ten Hag may harbour doubts as to whether Ronaldo is the right fit for his all-action style. However, a conversation between the two will resolve that issue once and for all and it’s indicated the early signs suggest Ronaldo will stay.
Furthermore, Ronaldo will reportedly accept the club’s decision to sign a new striker. Cavani’s position needs to be replaced and while it may mean Ronaldo’s minutes are cut, he will reportedly have ‘no problem’ with the move.
Fellow forward Marcus Rashford was also addressed in the column, though his position is altogether different to Ronaldo’s.
Rashford has endured his worst campaign to date since breaking into the first-team. With just two matches remaining, Rashford’s returns currently sit at just five goals and two assists in all competitions.
Rashford has reportedly been considering his future since February, though wishes to gain clarity from Ten Hag first.
Like Ronaldo, his goal is to remain in Manchester. Though to do so, he will seek guarantees from Ten Hag over his playing time first.
Rashford has spent more time on the bench this season than he would’ve liked and his position with England at Qatar 2022 is under threat.
Romano concluded Rashford’s future will be determined in a future meeting with Ten Hag.
Should Ronaldo, Rashford stay or go?
Both forwards reportedly wish to remain at Old Trafford, though whether United should grant their wishes is another matter entirely.
Ronaldo may find himself a square peg in a round hole in Ten Hag’s system. However, as Jamie Carragher recently conceded, United have more pressing concerns elsewhere in their squad.
Signing at least one new central midfielder must surely be their top priority. Matic and Pogba are both leaving, while Scott McTominay and Fred are woefully short on quality.
A blockbuster move for Declan Rice would be the perfect solution. Though West Ham will seek a new British transfer record for that to happen.
Regardless, if United are to give Ten Hag the proper tools to construct his rebuild, a move of that size may be required. Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips is another player on United’s radar.
Retaining Ronaldo and Rashford therefore makes sense in our eyes. Ronaldo will punish defences when he plays and Rashford has a point to prove ahead of the winter World Cup. And still only 24-years-old, it would be foolish to write him off just yet.