The return of Cristiano Ronaldo could have a negative knock-on effect on Man Utd after a report detailed their new struggles to retain an elite star.
The Portuguese legend made a spectacular return to Old Trafford when bagging a brace in their 4-1 victory over Newcastle. Ronaldo showed his killer instinct when anticipating goalkeeper Freddie Woodman would spill Mason Greenwood’s deflected shot.
He compounded Woodman’s miserable afternoon just after the hour mark when firing a low strike between the stopper’s legs.
Citing Spanish outlet Todofichajes, their report reveals Man Utd remain keen on tying Paul Pogba down to a new, long-term deal. His current deal expires at the conclusion of the 2021/22 season.
An offer has reportedly been made, though it was not as ‘exorbitant’ as expected. The reason, they claim, stems from a financial perspective.
Ronaldo is reportedly pocketing £475,000-per-week at Old Trafford. The Star on Sunday recently revealed an extra million pounds will move in Ronaldo’s direction if he achieves any of three feats negotiated into his deal.
Should Man Utd win the Champions League or Ronaldo scoop the Ballon d’Or or UEFA Player of the Year, Ronaldo will be entitled to £1m for each accomplishment.
Caught Offside say all that combined will make it ‘harder for Man Utd’ to offer Pogba what he and agent Mino Raiola will demand. Indeed, it’s expressly stated Ronaldo’s return has changed the club’s ‘economic plan’ for the ‘immediate future’.
Pogba has divided opinion during his second stint at the Red Devils. However, he has been in irresistible form this season, notching a scarcely believable seven assists in just four matches.
Juventus and PSG are known admirers, though Real Madrid are tipped to be the likeliest suitor.
An all-French midfield alongside new signing Eduardo Camavinga is speculated to be on their agenda. Veteran pair Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in particular are gradually being phased out.
Pogba will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs in January if a new deal isn’t signed.
Man Utd move boosts returnee’s transfer chances
Meanwhile, a forgotten Man Utd star made his long-awaited return to competitive football this weekend, though a club move could hint an exit is on the horizon.
Phil Jones made his return to competitive action this weekend. He turned out for the club’s Under-23s against Arsenal on Saturday. But with Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly ahead of him in the pecking order ahead of Jones in the pecking order, his pathway to first-team action appears blocked.
As such, a recent report detailed Jones was the ‘obvious’ name heading a five-man list of potential January departures.
Man Utd were reportedly open to he ex-England defender’s exit this summer, though his high salary deterred potential suitors. Newcastle were among the suitors credited with interest.
Nonetheless, the Sun now report Jones has been named in the club’s Premier League squad for the current season. A 33-man crop has been named rather than 25. The increased number is possible through eight of their players being under the age of 21.
One school of thought would suggest that move is with the intention of putting Jones in the shop window. If Jones can perform capably in limited outings this season, stronger interest could materialise in a future window.